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The 1st Day of the Month of April


At Vespers

At “Lord, I have cried…,” these stichera, in Tone VI, Special Melody: “Having set all aside…”

At first thine alluring, impure seduction hindered thee from gazing upon precious things, but thy good sense, O divinely wise one, and thine awareness of what thou hadst done wrought thy conversion to that which is better; for, lifting up thine eyes to gaze upon the icon of the blessed and divine Maiden, and repenting, O all-praised one, of all thy past transgressions, thou didst bow down in worship before the precious Tree with boldness.

Having joyfully worshipped at the holy places, from thence thou didst receive the most saving viaticum of virtue, and didst set out with exceeding great haste on a good journey; and having passed beyond the stream of the Jordan, thou didst zealously make thine abode in the habitation of the Forerunner, and by thy dwelling therein didst subdue the savagery of the passions, laying waste to the carnal uprisings of thy body through abstinence, O ever-memorable mother.

Having made thine abode in the wilderness, thou didst piously deface the images of thy passions, engraving within thy soul the depiction of the most divine likeness; and so greatly didst thou shine forth that thou didst easily traverse the waters on foot and wast elevated above the ground in thy supplications unto God. And now with boldness thou standest before Christ, O all-glorious Mary. Entreat Him in behalf of our souls.

Glory…, in Tone II: Idiomelon

With the sword of abstinence thou didst cut apart the spiritual nets of the carnal passions, and with the stillness of fasting thou didst smother noetic offenses; with the streams of thy tears thou didst water the whole desert, and hast budded forth for us the fruits of repentance. Wherefore, we celebrate thy memory, O venerable one.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion

Beholding Thee nailed to the Tree of the Cross, O Jesus, she who knew not wedlock said, weeping: “O sweet Child, wherefore hast Thou abandoned me who alone gave birth unto Thee, O unapproachable Light of the all-unoriginate Father? Haste Thou, and glorify Thyself, that those who glorify Thy divine sufferings may receive divine glory!”

Troparion, in Tone VIII

In thee, O mother, that which was created according to the image of God was manifestly saved; for, accepting thy cross, thou didst follow after Christ; and, praying, thou didst learn to disdain the flesh, for thou didst transcend it, and to take care of thine immortal soul. Wherefore, with the angels doth thy soul rejoice, O venerable Mary.

At Matins

The canon to the venerable Mary, in Tone IV

Ode I

Irmos: Having traversed the depths of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, Israel of old vanquished the might of Amalek in the wilderness by Moses’ arms stretched out in the form of the Cross.

With Thy mercy, O Christ, wash away the defilement of transgressions from my lowly soul, and by the supplications of Thy venerable one dispel the darkness and gloom of the passions.

Having polluted the nobility of thy soul with carnal passions, thou didst enlighten thy mind again by abstinence, making thy soul bright with the outpouring of thy tears.

Thou didst flee from the passions of Egypt as from a wellspring of sin; and having freed thyself of the defilement of the cruel Pharaoh, thou hast now inherited the land of dispassion and ever holdest chorus with the angels.

Theotokion: Gazing upon the icon of thee and the Word Who was born of thine all-pure womb, O pure Virgin Theotokos and Mistress, the all-glorious one fervently entreated thee to be surety for herself before Him.


Irmos: Thy Church rejoiceth in Thee, O Christ, crying aloud: Thou art my strength, O Lord, my refuge and my consolation!

The sores of thy soul stank and festered; but by the fountain of thy tears thou didst fervently cleanse them.

Legions of demons were vanquished by thee, and thou didst rout the uprisings of the passions with thy tears.

Thou hast become like a cloud of the morning and like a trickling droplet providing the waters of saving repentance for all.

Theotokion: Having thee as her intercessor, salvation and strength, O pure one, the honored Mary bowed down in worship before the Tree of the holy Cross.

Sessional hymn, in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “Of the wisdom…”

Restraining all the uprisings of the flesh with the pangs of fasting, thou didst show forth the manly wisdom of thy soul; for, desiring to behold the form of the Cross, O ever-memorable one, thou didst crucify thyself to the world, and hence didst fervently raise thyself up to zeal for a life undefiled, O most blessed and all-glorious Mary. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love honor thy holy memory.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

All of us, the generations of men, bless thee as the Virgin who, alone among women, gave birth without seed unto God in the flesh; for the fire of the Godhead made its abode within thee, and thou hast given suck unto the Creator and Lord as a babe. Wherefore, we, the race of angels and men, glorify thine all-holy birthgiving as is meet, and cry out to thee together: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offenses unto those who with faith worship thine all-holy Offspring.


The ewe-lamb, beholding the Lamb, Shepherd and Deliverer upon the Cross, cried out, weeping and, bitterly lamenting, exclaimed: “The world rejoiceth, receiving deliverance through Thee; but my womb doth burn, beholding Thy crucifixion, which Thou dost endure in the loving-kindness of Thy mercy. O long-suffering Lord, Abyss of mercy, inexhaustible Wellspring: take pity and grant remission of offenses unto those who with faith hymn Thy divine sufferings!”

Ode IV

Irmos: Beholding Thee lifted up upon the Cross, O Sun of righteousness, the Church stood rooted in place, crying out as is meet: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Fleeing all the pleasurable things which are in the world, thou didst take thyself away, and, alone, through extreme abstinence and the endurance of those things which thou didst, thou didst cleave unto One in a pure manner.

The movements and burnings of the body didst thou truly suppress through abstinence; hence thou didst adorn thy soul with divine visions and actions, O most glorious Mary.

Through the power of thy virtue, thy tears and extreme fasting, by prayer, heat, winter’s cold and nakedness, thou didst become a precious receptacle for the holy Spirit.

Theotokion: Having had recourse unto the icon of thee and Him Who was born of thee, O Virgin Mary, Mary of Egypt hath now found immortal life through thee, joining chorus in Paradise.

Ode V

Irmos: Thou hast come, O my Lord, as a light into the world: a holy light turning from the darkness of ignorance those who hymn Thee with faith.

Rejoicing, thou didst follow after Christ, bearing thine own cross on thy shoulder, O Mary; and thou didst wound the demons.

Thou hast shown us the medicine of repentance, and hast indicated also unto us the path which leadeth again to life which perisheth not.

Be thou for me an invincible helper, O honored one, and deliver me from the passions and from all pain by thine entreaties to the Lord.

Theotokion: Ever beseeching thee, the venerable one gazed upon thine icon, O pure Mistress, and put to shame the assaults of the passions.

Ode VI

Irmos: I will sacrifice to Thee with a voice of praise, O Lord, the Church crieth unto Thee, cleansed of the blood of demons by the blood which, for mercy’s sake, flowed from Thy side.

With sweat thou didst wash away the defilement of sin; and, directing thy gaze mentally towards that glory which corrupteth not, thou hast now found fruitfulness through thy pangs, O glorious one.

Thy life, O Mary, hath been shown to be a model for all sinners who have sinned beyond measure in life, that they, too, may arise and wash away their defilement with tears.

Take pity, O Thou Who lovest mankind, on my lowly soul, which I have polluted by giving rein to the impure desires of my flesh; and through the supplications of the venerable one have mercy on me.

Theotokion: With all thy heart and soul thou didst love the living Word of God Who was born incarnate of the Virgin, and Who spake unto thee, O venerable one.

Kontakion, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Having been lifted up…”

Having fled the gloom of sin and illumined thine heart with the light of repentance, O glorious one, thou didst go to Christ and didst bring His all-immaculate and holy Mother to Him as a merciful intercessor; hence, thou didst find remission of thy transgressions and dost now rejoice ever with the angels.

Ikos: The serpent who of old caused Eve to fall through the deception of the tree in Eden, thou didst cast down into the pit through the Tree of the Cross, O glorious Mary; and, fleeing from pleasure, thou didst desire purity. Hence, with the virgins thou hast been accounted worthy to enter the chamber of thy Master and to delight with them as is meet. Him do thou earnestly beseech, that He grant us remission of many sins and account us worthy of His life, and to rejoice ever with the angels.


Irmos: The children of Abraham in the Persian furnace, afire with love of piety more than with the flame, cried out: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

Having manifestly traveled the narrow path of tribulation and made thy soul radiant with the beauty of the virtues, thou didst attain unto the endless life of heaven, where Christ is the never-ending Light.

Having trampled down all the transient things in the world, thou dost now join chorus with all the armies of the angels, chanting: Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy glory, O Lord!

With thy fasting, prayer and tears, O venerable one, thou didst cause all of the wiles and devices of the enemy to fail; therefore, the uprisings of the passions are now driven away from thee, O honored Mary.

Theotokion: O most pure one, who without knowing wedlock truly gavest birth unto the incorporeal God yet remained truly Virgin, by thy power thou hast driven away the passions and legions of demons.


Irmos: Stretching forth his hands, Daniel shut the lions’ mouths in the pit; and the young lovers of piety, girded about with virtue, quenched the power of the fire, crying out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Having illumined thy whole mind with the radiance of the virtues, O glorious Mary, and conversed with God, and broken down thy flesh with great fasting and pious thought, rejoicing thou didst chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Protecting thyself with the sign of the Cross, with faith traversing the waters of Jordan with thy dryshod feet, having received communion of the Body and Blood of the heavenly Christ, thou didst say: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

The godly priest Zosimas, an initiate of the mysteries of grace, when he beheld thee crossing the Jordan’s stream with dryshod feet, O glorious one, seized with fear and trembling chanted, rejoicing: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Theotokion: Through thee, O all-undefiled one, did the venerable one put off corruption and defilement; by thee, O Mistress, was she clothed in the garment of incorruption; and with thee did she cry out to thy Son: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Ode IX

Irmos: Christ, the Chief Cornerstone uncut by human hands, Who united the two disparate natures, was cut from thee, the unquarried mountain, O Virgin. Wherefore, in gladness we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Thou art now nurtured on truly incorruptible and divine food, delighting in the noetic and unwaning Light in the mansions of heaven, where the ranks of angels entreat God in our behalf.

Disdaining transitory and corruptible glory, O Mary, thou didst inherit blessed life and glory. Entreat Christ in behalf of those who ever celebrate thy most holy memory.

Behold my sorrow and the groaning of my heart, O venerable one! Behold the imprisonment of my life! Save me from my sin, and take pity on my soul by thy mediations before the Lord!

Theotokion: O pure Mistress Theotokos, salvation of sinners, accept this entreaty, and, by the supplications of thy venerable one, from my transgressions deliver me who flee to thy Son.

Exapostilarion, Special Melody: “O immutable Light…”

Thou hast been given unto us as a model of repentance, O Mary; for, having acquired Mary the Theotokos as thy helper, thou didst win the victory with thy fervent compunction. With her pray thou in our behalf.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

The timeless Light which shone forth from the Father before the ages hath now in these latter days manifested Himself in time for the salvation of the world, O Virgin. Cease thou never to pray to Him in behalf of thy people.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen