In this preliminary version of the texts for Matins and the Liturgy in Tone 8 I have included all the Irmi of the three canons. Those in square brackets are, of course, not normally sung, but are given here for convenience, since there are, as yet, no standard English incipits of such texts.
The Greek text of the canons presents a number of problems. The four printed editions I have used differ quite seriously in a number of places among themselves. I have also compared them with the Slavonic. The most inaccurate is that published by Phos, which in one place even prints Despoina, ’Mistress’, where the reading should be Despota, ’Master’.
I hope before long to include elsewhere on these pages a PDF version of these canons with annotation .
After the 1st Reading from the Psalter, Resurrection Kathismata.
Tone 8. Model Melody.
You rose from the dead, the Life of all, and an Angel of light cried out to the women: Cease your tears. Give the good tidings to the Apostles Cry aloud in hymns that Christ the Lord has risen, who as God was well-pleased to save the human race.
Verse:Arise, O Lord, my God, lift up your hand: do not forget your poor for ever.
The Wisdom and Word.
When you had truly risen from the tomb you ordered the holy women to proclaim the Resurrection to the Apostles, as it is written; and Peter, coming at full speed, stood by the grave and seeing the light in the tomb was struck with amazement. And so he both saw the grave clothes lying there alone, without the divine body, and he believed and cried out: Glory to you Christ God, because you save us all, our Saviour, for you are the brightness of the Father.
Glory. Both now.Theotokion. The same melody.
Let us hymn the heavenly gate and ark, the all-holy mountain, the cloud of light, the heavenly ladder, the spiritual Paradise, the deliverance of Eve, the great treasure of the world; because salvation for the world and forgiveness of ancient offences were wrought in her; therefore we cry to her: Intercede with your Son and God to grant forgiveness of offences to those who devoutly worship your all-holy Offspring.
After the 2nd reading from the Psalter, other Kathismata.
Mortals sealed your grave, O Saviour; an Angel rolled the stone from the door; Women saw you risen from the dead, and it was they who gave the good tidings to your Disciples in Sion: The life of all has risen and the bonds of death are loosed. Lord, glory to you.
Verse:I will give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will tell of all your wonders.
The women who brought spices for the burial heard from the tomb an Angel’s voice: Cease your tears, and bring joy instead of sorrow. Cry aloud in hymns that Christ the Lord has risen, who as God was well-pleased to save the human race.
Glory. Both now.Theotokion.
Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices, the ranks of Angels and the human race; hallowed Temple and spiritual Paradise, pride of Virgins; from you God was incarnate and he who is our God before the ages became a little child. For he made your womb a throne and caused it to become wider than the heavens. Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices; glory to you.
After Psalm 118, the Ypakoï
The myrrh-bearing women standing at the grave of the Giver of life were seeking the immortal Master among the dead; and when they received the good tidings of joy from the Angel they revealed to the Apostles that Christ had risen, granting the world his great mercy.
The Anavathmi. 1st Antiphon.
From my youth the enemy tempts me, enflames me with pleasures; but I, trusting in you, Lord, put him to flight.
Those that hate Sion, let them become like grass before it is dug up; for Christ will cut their necks with a sharp blade of torments.
Glory. Both now.
By the Holy Spirit all things live; Light from Light, great God: we sing his praise with the Father and the Word.
Let my humble heart be sheltered by fear of you; lest it fall away from you by being exalted, O most compassionate.
He who has his hope in the Lord will not be afraid when he judges all things by fire and punishment.
Glory. Both now.
By the Holy Spirit everyone that is godly sees and foretells and works the greatest wonders, as they sings one God in three Persons; for though it shines with triple light, the Divine rules as one.
I have cried to you, Lord, give heed, bend your ear to me as I call and cleanse me before you take me from what is here.
Each one who sinks back upon his mother earth will depart to receive torments or rewards for their life’s actions.
Glory. Both now.
By the Holy Spirit contemplation of God is of a thrice-holy unity; for the Father is without beginning, from whom was the Son beyond time, and the Spirit equal in form and majesty, shining forth equally from the Father.
Behold, what so good, what so pleasant as brothers dwelling together? For by this the Lord promised eternal life.
The One who adorns the lilies of the field commands us not to be concerned over our clothing.
Glory. Both now.
By the Holy Spirit, by one single cause all things gain the reward of peace; for he is God exactly consubstantial with both the Father and the Son.
Prokeimenon [Psalm 145].
The Lord will be king for ever;* your God, O Sion, to generation and generation.
Verse:Praise the Lord, my soul: while I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing to my God for as long as I exist.
Let everything that has breath.The Sunday Resurrection Gospel. Having seen the Resurrection. Psalm 50.
Moses’ wonderworking staff, striking and dividing the sea in the figure of a cross, once drowned Pharao the charioteer, while it saved Israel the fugitive as he marched on foot, singing a song to God.
How can we not marvel at Christ’s all-powerful divinity? To the faithful it pours out dispassion from his passion, while from his holy side it sheds a fount of incorruption and from his tomb eternal life.
How glorious does the Angel now appear to the Women, wearing the bright symbols of innate and immaterial purity; while by his form he reveals the radiance of the Resurrection as he cries out, ‘The Lord has been raised!’
Glorious things have been said of you in generation after generation, Virgin Mother of God, who, while remaining pure, contained in your womb God the Word. And so we all honour you as our protection after God.
Another Canon, of Cross and Resurrection.
[Crossing the water as on dry land and fleeing the harsh misery of Egypt, the Israelite cried aloud, To our Redeemer and our God now let us sing!]
Hell’s gates of pain have been removed, its gatekeepers quailed in fear when they saw in the lowest depths the One who on high is beyond the nature of all things.
The ranks of Angels were amazed when they saw seated on the Father’s throne humanity’s fallen nature that had been held fast in the lowest depths.
The ranks of Angels and of mortals without ceasing sing your praise, Mother without bridegroom, for you carried their Creator as an infant in your arms.
Another Canon, of the Mother of God. In alphabetical order.
[Let us sing to the Lord, who led his people in the Red Sea, for he alone has been greatly glorified.]
Immaculate Mother of God, who gave birth beyond nature to the incarnate and eternal Word, we sing your praise.
The Virgin gave you birth, O Christ, you the grape cluster from which drops the life-bearing sweetness of the whole world’s salvation.
Adam’s race, raised to blessedness beyond all thought, Mother of God, fittingly glorifies you.
Ode 3. Irmos.
O Christ, who in the beginning established the heavens with understanding and founded the earth upon the waters, fortify me on the rock of your commandments, because none is holy but you, only lover of humankind.
The saving suffering of your flesh, O Christ, justified Adam, who had been condemned by the taste of sin; for you, who are without sin, revealed that you were not subject to the trial of death.
Jesu, my God, the light of the Resurrection has shone out for those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, and by your divinity you bound the strong one and scattered his spoil.
You were revealed as higher than the Cherubim and Seraphim, Mother of God, for you alone received in your womb, O undefiled, the God who cannot be bounded; and so with hymns all we believers ever call you blessed.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection.
[Lord who constructed heaven’s vault and builder of the Church, establish me in your love, the pinnacle of all desires, the firm foundation of the faithful, only lover of mankind.]
When of old I disobeyed your commandment, Lord, who made me, you made me a strange; having formed me and taught me obedience, reconciling me to yourself through the Crucifixion.
O Lord, who in wisdom knew all things beforehand and with understanding framed the things beneath the earth, in your condescension, Word of God, you did not disdain to raise up the one [created] according to your image.
Having dwelt in a Virgin, you appeared, Lord, in bodily form to humankind, as it was fitting for you to be seen. And you revealed her to be truly Mother of God and help of believers, only lover of mankind.
Another, of the Mother of God.
[You are the foundation, Lord, of those who have recourse to you; you are the light of those in darkness; and my spirit sings your praise.]
Give me help by your intercessions, O All-pure, beating off the assaults of dread dangers.
You became the righting of our foremother Eve, when you bore for the world the prince of life, O Mother of God.
By your power give me life, O All-pure, who truly gave birth to God in the flesh, the empersonned power of the Father.
Ode 4. Irmos.
[You, Lord, are my strength and you are my power, you are my God and you are my joy, who did not leave your Father’s bosom and visited our poverty. Therefore with the Prophet Avvakoum I cry to you, ‘Glory to your power, O Lover of mankind!’]
When I was hostile you loved me greatly. You came down to earth, compassionate Saviour, by a strange self-emptying, not spurning the indignity of my lowest state, and while remaining in the height of your ineffable glory, you glorified the one who had before been dishonoured.
Who now is not amazed, Master, as they see death destroyed through suffering, corruption taking flight through the Cross, Hell emptied of its wealth through death? This is the amazing action of your power, the Crucified lover of humankind.
You are the boast of the faithful, Mother without bridegroom, you are the protection, you are the refuge of Christians, their wall and harbour; for you bring their entreaties to your Son, All-blameless Lady, and you save from dangers those who with faith and love acknowledge you to be the pure Mother of God.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection.
[Lord, I have heard the mystery of your dispensation; I have considered your works and glorified your Godhead.]
The children of the lawless nailed you to the Cross, Lover of humankind. Through it in your compassion you saved those who glorify your sufferings.
By rising from the grave, you raised with you all the dead in Hell, and in your compassion you enlightened those who glorify your Resurrection.
Immaculate Mary, implore the God whom you bore to grant your suppliants forgiveness of their offences.
Of the Mother of God. The same Irmos.
Mother of God, the unploughed plough land that produced the ear of corn which grants life to the world, save those who sing your praise.
All we who have been enlightened know you, All-pure, to be Mother of God, for you, Ever-Virgin, bore the Sun of justice.
Grant us pardon of our offences, as you are without sin, and give peace to your world, O God, at the entreaties of her who gave you birth.
Ode 5. Irmos.
Why have you, the Light that never sets, rejected me from your presence, and why has the alien darkness covered me, coward that I am? But turn me back to the light of your commandments and direct my ways, I implore.
You endured being wrapped in a cloak as you were mocked before your Passion, O Saviour, so covering the unsightly nakedness of Adam the First-formed, and being nailed naked to the Cross, stripping off, O Christ, the tunic of death.
Rising out of the dust of death, O Christ, you rebuilt my fallen being and rendered it unageing, displaying it again as a royal image, blazing with the light of incorruption.
Having obtained a mother’s freedom of speech before your Son, O All-pure, do not neglect your natural providence for us we beg, for you alone we Christians present to the Master as a kindly means of atonement.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection.
[Enlighten us, O Lord, with your commandments, and with your upraised arm grant us your peace. Only Lover of mankind.]
Guide us by the power of your Cross, O Christ, for through it we fall before you, and grant us peace, Lover of humankind.
Pilot the lives of us who sing the praise of your Rising, O our God, and grant us peace, Lover of humankind.
Mary, pure and revered, and who did not know wedlock, implore your Son and our God to send down to us who believe his great mercy.
Another, of the Mother of God.
[Rising at dawn, O Lord, we cry out to you, ‘Save us! For you are our God, we know no other but you’.]
Calm the stormy tempest of my passions, you who gave birth to God, my pilot and Lord.
The ranks of Angels and the companies of mortals worship your Offspring, Immaculate Mother of God.
Mary Mother of God without bridegroom, bring to naught the expectations of our foes and bring joy to those who sing your praise.
Ode 6. Irmos.
Have mercy on me Saviour, for my iniquities are many; and bring me up, I beg, from the deep of evils—for to you have I cried—and hear me, O God of my salvation.
Through a tree the author of evil mightily overthrew me, but raised on a Cross, O Christ, you hurled him down more mightily, humiliating him, while you raised the one who had fallen.
You took pity on Sion when you shone from the grave, in your compassion having made it new instead of old by your divine blood, and now, O Christ, you reign it as king for ever.
May we be delivered from grievous faults at your entreaties, pure Mother of God, and may we experience the divine radiance of the Son of God, who from you ineffably became incarnate.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection.
[I pour out my supplication to the Lord, and to him I declare my afflictions, for my soul has been filled with evils and my life has drawn near to hell. And like Jonas I beg, ‘O God, bring me up from corruption!]
You spread out your hands on the Cross, so healing the hand of Adam the first-formed greedily stretched out in Eden, and you tasted instead gall of a bitter tree , O Christ; and, as you are powerful, you saved those who glorify your sufferings.
The Redeemer tasted death and the ancient sentence that he might abolish the palace of corruption, and when he had visited those in Hell, he saved, as he is powerful, those who sing the praise of his Resurrection.
Do not cease to intercede for us , All-holy Virgin Mother of God, for you are the support of believers and by our hope in you we are made strong, and with love we glorify you and him who from you was made flesh ineffably.
Of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[Grant me a tunic of light, O Most Merciful, Christ our God, who wrap yourself in light as in a garment.]
Mother of God, we the faithful proclaim you Temple and Ark and living Bridal Chamber of God, and gate of heaven.
Mary bride of God, your Offspring, who became the destroyer of wooden idols, is worshipped with Father and the Spirit.
The Word of God revealed you to mortals to be a heavenly ladder, for through you he same down to us.
Kontakion. As first fruits of nature.
On rising from the grave you roused the dead and raised up Adam. Eve dances at your Resurrection, and the ends of the world keep festival at your Rising from the dead, O Most Merciful.
When you had ransacked the palaces of Hell and raised the dead, O Longsuffering, you met the Women bearing myrrh, bringing them joy instead of sorrow; and to your Apostles you revealed the symbols of your victory, my Saviour, giver of life, and you enlightened creation, lover of humankind. Therefore too the world rejoices at your Rising from the dead, O Most Merciful.
Ode 7. Irmos.
The fire in Babylon once stood in awe of God’s descent. And so the Youths in the furnace, dancing with joyful steps, as in a meadow, sang, ‘Blessed is the God of our Fathers!’
Your glorious self-emptying, the divine wealth of your poverty, O Christ, amazed the Angels when they saw you nailed to a Cross, to save those who with faith cry out, ‘Blessed is the God of our Fathers!’
At your divine descent the regions beneath the earth were filled with light, and the darkness, which before pursued, was driven out. Therefore the prisoners from every age arose, crying aloud, ‘Blessed is the God of our Fathers!’
Speaking of God with orthodox belief, we proclaim you Lord of all, Father of one only-begotten Son, and we know one right Spirit who proceeds from you, consubstantial and co-eternal.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection.
[The Youths from Judea of old in Babylon having come to the faith of the Trinity, trampled down the flame of the furnace as they sang, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’]
You have wrought salvation in the midst of the inhabited world, O God, as the Prophet said, for lifted up on a tree, you called back all those who cry to you with faith, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
Rising from the tomb as from sleep, compassionate Lord, you raised the world with you, while creation was persuaded through the Apostles when they preached your Rising. ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
Equal in action with his Begetter, equal in power and co-eternal, the Word is fashioned in the womb of the Virgin by the good pleasure of the Father and the Spirit. ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
Of the Mother of God. Same Irmos.
You appeared incarnate from a virgin womb for our salvation, and therefore knowing your Mother to be the one who gave birth to God, with thanksgiving we cry, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
You are the all-blessed rod from Jesse’s root, O Virgin, and you blossomed with a saving fruit for those who with faith cry to your Son, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
Empersonned Wisdom of the Most High, through the Mother of God fill with wisdom and divine power all those who sing to you in faith, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’
Ode 8. Irmos.
The Chaldean Tyrant insanely made the furnace blaze seven times more fiercely for those who reverenced God; but when he saw they had been saved by a greater power he cried aloud to the Creator and Redeemer, ‘O Youths, bless, you priests, praise, you people, highly exalt him to all the ages’.
The supreme divine power of Jesus’ godhead has shone out in what is ours in a manner fitting God: for having tasted death on a Cross in the flesh for all, he abolished the strength of Hell. Without ceasing, O Youths, bless, you priests, praise, you people, highly exalt him to all the ages.
The Crucified has risen, the boastful has fallen, the fallen and crushed has been set upright, corruption has been banished and incorruption has blossomed; for mortality has been swallowed up by life. O Youths, bless, you priests, praise, you people, highly exalt him to all the ages!
Godhead of triple light, single radiance shining out from one three-personned nature, Begetter without beginning, Word of the Father, one with him in nature and kingship, consubstantial Spirit, O Youths, bless, you priests, praise, you people, highly exalt him to all the ages.
Of the Cross and Resurrection. Irmos.
[Victorious by your grace over tyrant and over flame, the Youths, firmly upholding your commandments, cried out, ‘All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages’.]
The One who stretched out his hands on the Tree to me who had been stripped naked and who calls me to warm me with his noble nakedness, all you his works, bless the Lord and highly exalt him to the ages.
The One who raised me, the fallen, out of the lowest Hell, and honoured me with the high-throned glory of his Begetter, all you works of the Lord, bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to the ages.
You appeared as a daughter of fallen Adam, but also as Mother of the God who renewed my nature. All we his works sing his praise as Lord and highly exalt him to the ages.
Another, of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[The King of heaven, whose praise the Armies of the Angels sing, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages.]
Quench the seductive and fiery darts of those who are our foes, that we may sing your praise, pure Maiden, to the ages.
Beyond nature, O Virgin, you gave birth God the Word, Creator and Saviour; therefore we sing your praise to all the ages.
The unapproachable Light, who dwelt in you, O Virgin, showed you to be a shining, gold-gleaming lamp to all the ages.
Ode 9. Irmos.
Heaven was amazed at this and the ends of the earth astounded: that God had appeared to mankind in bodily form, and that your womb had become far wider than the heavens. And so, Mother of God, the ranks of Angels and of humans magnify you.
Begotten simple in your divine nature that is without beginning, you became compound by assuming flesh, giving it substance in yourself, O Word of God, and having suffered as man, you remained beyond suffering as God, and so in two natures inseparably and unconfusedly we magnify you.
Your Father according to your divine nature, O Most High, when you became man, coming down to your servants, you addressed as God; having risen from the dead you made the One who is by nature God and Master, Father by grace of those born of earth. You with him we magnify.
You appeared as Mother of God, O Virgin, when beyond nature you gave birth in the body to the good Word, whom the Father uttered from his own heart before all ages, as he is Good. Him we now understand to be beyond bodies, even though he is clothed in a body.
Another, of Cross and Resurrection. Irmos.
[Everything that hears trembles at the ineffable condescension of God: how the Most High came down even to take a body and become man of a virgin womb; and so we faithful magnify the immaculate Mother of God.]
We know that you are Son of God by nature, conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, that you became man for our sake, and, as we see you on the Cross, that you suffer in your human nature, while as God you remain untouched by suffering.
Murky darkness has been abolished, for from Hell Christ, the sun of justice, has dawned enlightening all the ends of the earth, shining with the rays of his godhead, man from heaven, God on earth, whom in two natures we magnify.
Bend your bow, prosper and reign, Son of the Mother of God, subduing the people of Ishmael who war against us, granting to our devout King the Cross as an invincible weapon,
Another, of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[We who have been saved through you, O Virgin, confess you to be truly Mother of God, as with the choirs of Bodiless Powers we magnify you.]
The thought of you is full of joy and gladness, overflowing with healings for those who approach you and devoutly proclaim you Mother of God.
With psalms we sing your praise, O Full of grace, and never silent offer you our ‘Hail!’; for you are a fount of rejoicing for all.
Fair is your fruit, Mother of God, no cause of corruption for those who partake, but of life for those who magnify you with faith.
At Lauds. Resurrection Stichera.
Lord, though you stood at the judgement seat being judged by Pilate, yet seated with the Father you were not absent from your throne; and risen from the dead you freed the world from the slavery of the stranger, as you are full of pity and love mankind.
Lord, though Jews had laid you as a corpse in a grave, yet soldiers were guarding you as a sleeping king, and they sealed you with a seal as treasure-house of life; but you arose and granted incorruption to our souls.
Lord, you have given us your Cross as a weapon against the devil; for he quails and trembles, unable to contemplate your power; for you raise the dead and made death of no effect: therefore we worship your Burial and your Rising.
Your Angel, Lord, proclaiming your Resurrection, filled the guards with fear, but he cried to the women and said: Why do you seek the living with the dead? Being God he has risen and given life to the whole world.
Others by Anatolios.
You suffered through the Cross, who are impassible in your Godhead; to free us from the slavery of the foe you accepted burial for three days, and, having made us immortal, to give us life through your Resurrection, Christ God, lover of mankind.
I worship, I glorify and I praise your Resurrection from the tomb, O Christ, through which you have freed us from the unbreakable bonds of Hell and as God granted the world eternal life and your great mercy.
Lawless men, watching over your grave, which had received life, sealed it; but you, as immortal and all-powerful God, rose on the third day.
When you entered the gates of Hell, Lord, and smashed them, the prisoner cried out: Who is this, for he is not condemned to the lowest parts of the earth, but has torn down death’s prison-house like a tent? I received him as a mortal, and I tremble at him as God. All-powerful Saviour have mercy on us.
Glory.The Eothinon of the Sunday.
Both now. You are most blessed.
Great Doxology and then the Resurrection Troparion,
at the liturgy
Typika and Beatitudes
8. Remember us, Christ, Saviour of the world, as you remembered the Thief on the tree, and count us all worthy, O only Merciful, of your heavenly Kingdom.
7. Listen, Adam, and rejoice with Eve, for the one who stripped you both of old and through deception took us prisoner has been destroyed by the Cross of Christ.
6. Nailed to the tree by your own will, our Saviour, you delivered Adam from the curse of the tree, giving him back that which is according to the image and his dwelling in Paradise.
5. Today Christ has risen from the tomb, granting all the faithful incorruption, and renewing joy for the Myrrhbearers, after the Passion and the Resurrection.
4. Hail, wise Myrrhbearing Women, first to see Christ’s Resurrection and to announce to the Apostles the restoration of the whole world.
3. Revealed as Christ’s friends, O Apostles, who will be enthroned with him in glory, as his Disciples intercede that we may stand beside him with freedom to address him.
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This page was last updated on 03 November 2008