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SUNDAY OF THE 318 GODBEARING FATHERS OF NICAEA

ON SATURDAY EVENING

AT GREAT VESPERS.

After the Opening Psalm etc., at Lord, I have cried we insert 10 Stichera, and we sing 3 of the Resurrection, 3 of the Assumption and 4 of the Holy Fathers.

Resurrection Stichera. Tone 6.

Winning the victory over Hell, O Christ, you ascended the Cross, that you might raise with yourself those sitting in the darkness of death, you who are free among the dead. All-powerful Saviour, who pour life from your own light, glory to you!

Today Christ, having trampled down death, has risen as he said, and given joy to the whole world, that we might all cry aloud the hymn and say: All-powerful Saviour, Source of life, unapproachable Light, glory to you!

Where shall we sinners flee from you, Lord, who are present in all creation? In heaven? You dwell there. In Hell? You have trampled on death. To the depths of the sea? Your hand is there, Master. To you we flee; falling down we implore you: O risen from the dead, have mercy upon us!

Of the Assumption. Same Tone.

The Lord has been taken up into heaven, that he may send the Paraclete to the world. The heavens have prepared his throne; clouds his ascent. Angels marvel to see a human high above them. The Father receives the One he holds eternally in his bosom. The Holy Spirit orders all his Angels: ‘Lift up our gates, you rulers.’ All you nations, clap your hands: for Christ has gone up to where he was before

The Cherubim, Lord, were amazed by your Assumption, as they watched you, the God who is enthroned upon them, ascending on the clouds; and we glorify you, for your mercy is kind. Glory to you!

As we watch your exaltation on the holy mountains, O Christ, splendour of the Father's glory, we hymn the appearance, formed of light, of your countenance; we worship your sufferings, we honour your Resurrection, as we glorify your glorious Assumption. Have mercy on us.

Of the Holy Fathers. Same Tone.

You were born from the womb before the morning star, without a mother from the Father before the ages, though Arius dares to call you a creature, and does not glorify you as God, insanely joining you, the Creator, with the creatures, and laying up for himself as treasure the fuel of the eternal fire. But the Council in Nicea loudly proclaimed you, Lord, to be Son of God, equal in rank with the Father and the Spirit.

Who divided your garment, O Saviour? ‘Arius,’ you said, who cuts into divisions the Authority equal in honour of the Trinity. He it was who denied that you were one of the Trinity. He it was who taught Nestorios not to say ‘Mother of God’. But the Council in Nicea loudly proclaimed you, Lord, to be Son of God, equal in rank with the Father and the Spirit.

Arius fell into the precipice of sin, having shut his eyes so as not to see the light, and he was ripped asunder by a divine hook so that with his entrails he forcibly emptied out all his essence and his soul, and was named another Judas, both for his ideas and the manner of his death. But the Council in Nicea loudly proclaimed you, Lord, to be Son of God, equal in rank with the Father and the Spirit.

Arius the insane cut the Monarchy of the All-holy Trinity into three dissimilar and unrelated Essences; therefore the Godbearing Fathers eagerly came together, burning with zeal, like Elias the Thesbite, and cut off with the sword of the Spirit the blasphemer with his teachings of shame, as the Spirit decreed.

Glory.Tone 6.

Let us praise today the mystical trumpets of the Spirit, the Godbearing Fathers, who sang a harmonious melody of theology in the midst of the Church: one Trinity, unchanging Essence and Godhead; the overthrowers of Arius, the champions of the Orthodox, who ever intercede with the Lord that he have mercy on our souls.

Both now. Theotokion. Same Tone.

Who will not call you blessed, all-holy Virgin? Who will not sing the praise of your child-birth without pain? For the only-begotten Son, who shone from the Father beyond time, came forth from you, pure Maiden, ineffably incarnate. By nature he is God; by nature he became man for our sakes; not divided in a duality of persons; but known without confusion in a duality of natures. O honoured and all-blessed, intercede with him to have mercy on our souls.

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

The Reading is from Genesis.
[14,14-20]

Now when Abram heard that Lot his nephew had been taken captive, he numbered his own home-born servants, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued after them as far as Dan. And he fell upon them by night, he and his servants, and smote them and pursued them as far as Chobal, which is on the left of Damascus. And he brought back all the cavalry of Sodom, and he brought back Lot his nephew and all his goods and the women and the people. And the king of Sodom came out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chodologómor and the kings with him, to the valley of Sabí; this is the plain of a king. And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out loaves and wine; he was priest of the most high God. And he blessed Abram and said: Blessed is Abram by the most high God, who created the heaven and the earth. And blessed is the most high God, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.

The Reading is from Deuteronomy.
[1,8-11 & 15-17b]

Moses said to the children of Israel: See, I have handed over the land in front you; go in and inherit the land which I swore to your fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, that I would give it to them and to their seed after them. And I spoke to you at that time saying: I shall not be able to bear you alone. The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as the stars of heaven in multitude. May the Lord the God of our fathers multiply you a thousand times more than you are, and bless you as He has spoken to you. And I took from you wise and understanding and prudent men, and I set them to rule over you, captains of thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens and recorders for your judges. And I commanded your judges at that time, saying: Hear cases between your brethren, and judge rightly between a man and his brother and the proselyte who is with him. You shall not have respect to persons in judging. You shall hear the small as well as the great. You shall not shrink before any man's person; for the judgement is God's.

The Reading from Deuteronomy.
[10,14-18 & 20-21]

Moses said to the children of Israel: Behold, the heaven and the highest heaven, the earth and all that is in it belong to the Lord your God. The Lord preferred your fathers, to love them: and he chose their seed after them, you above all nations, as it is at this day. So circumcise the hardness of your heart and stiffen your neck no longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and strong and awesome, who shows no partiality and takes no bribe. He executes judgement for the proselyte, the orphan and the widow; and loves the proselyte, giving him food and clothing. You shall fear the Lord your God and serve him, and to him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in his name. He is your boast, and he your God, who has done for you the great and wonderful things which your eyes have seen.

At the Liti the Sticheron of the Saint of the Monastery.

Glory. Of the Fathers. Tone 3.

You have become strict guardians of the apostolic traditions, holy Fathers: for by teaching the orthodox doctrine that the holy Trinity is consubstantial, you overthrew in council the blasphemy of Arius; after him you refuted Makedonios, opponent of the Spirit, you condemned Nestorios, Eftyches and Dioscoros, Sabellios and the leaderless Severos; ask, we pray, that, delivered from their error, we may guard our life unsullied in the faith.

Both now. Of the Feast. Tone 6.

Lord, as you completed the mystery of your dispensation, taking your Disciples with you, you took them up onto the mount of Olives; and behold, you passed through the firmament of heaven. For me you became poor like me, and you ascended whence you had not been parted: send forth your all-holy Spirit, to enlighten our souls.

At the Aposticha,
Resurrection Stichera from the Oktoichos. Tone 6.

Your Resurrection, O Christ Saviour, Angels sing in heavens; grant that we too who are on earth may with pure hearts give glory to you.

In Alphabetical Order.

dropcap-q.gif (1120 bytes)uelling the gates of brass and smashing the bars of Hell, as all-powerful God, you raised the fallen human race; therefore we too in hymns cry out: Lord, who rose from the dead, glory to you!

dropcap-r.gif (1080 bytes)eady to set us upright from the ancient fall, Christ was nailed to a Cross and placed in a grave. The Myrrhbearing women sought him with tears and lamenting said: Alas, Saviour of all! How did you condescend to dwell in a grave? But while you dwelt there as you willed, how were you stolen? How were you been moved? What place hid your life-bearing Body? But as you promised, Master, appear and make the mourning of our tears cease. As they lamented an Angel cried aloud to them: Cease your lament; say to the Apostles that the Lord has risen, granting the world pardon and his great mercy.

dropcap-s.gif (1042 bytes)o as you wished, O Christ, you were crucified and plundered death by your burial; and on the third day you rose as God with glory, granting the world life without end and your great mercy.

Glory. Of the Fathers. Tone 4.

Let us with faith celebrate today the yearly memory of the god-bearing Fathers, who were assembled from the whole world in the shining city of Nicaea, as we reverence the gatherings of the Orthodox; for they, their minds attuned to true religion, overthrew the godless teaching of Arius, and in council banished him from the Catholic Church; and in the Symbol of faith which they precisely and devoutly laid down, they taught all to confess clearly the Son of God as consubstantial and co-eternal, and existing before the ages. And so we too, following their divine teachings and firm in our belief worship the Son and the all-holy Spirit with the Father, in one Godhead a consubstantial Trinity.

Both now. Of the Feast. Same Tone.

O Lord, when, in your loving kindness, you had fulfilled the mystery hidden from the ages and from generations, you came with your Disciples to the mount of Olives, having with you her who gave birth to you, the Maker and Creator of all things; for it was necessary that she, who had suffered so greatly as a mother at your passion, should also be filled with joy beyond measure at the glory of your flesh. We too, Master, sharing in the joy of your ascent to heaven glorify your great mercy which has come to pass for us.

Resurrection Apolytikion. Tone 6.

Angelic powers were by your tomb and the those who guarded it became as dead; and Mary stood at the grave seeking your most pure Body. You plundered Hades and were not tried by it. You met the Virgin and granted life. Lord risen from the dead, glory to you!

Glory. Of the Fathers. Tone 8.

You are glorified above all, Christ our God, who established our Fathers as beacons on the earth, and through them guided us all to the true faith. O highly compassionate, glory to you!

Both now. Of the Feast. Tone 4.

You were taken up in glory, Christ our God, making the Disciples joyful by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Through the blessing they were assured that you are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

And the same at The Lord is God.


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Archimandrite Ephrem ©

This page was last updated on 03 November 2008