On “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “As one valiant among the martyrs…”
The company of athletes of great renown steadfastly endured multifarious tortures, and rejoicing, they passed over to our one God, and rejoice with the myriad of the sacred incorporeal hosts; for they vanquished the many myriad of the serpent by their steadfast opposition and the grace of the Spirit.
Let the all-glorious Maximus and the great Terence, the all-wise Pompey, the godly Africanus and Macarius, be honored with hymns, and with them the rest of the company of martyrs who with their own blood purchased the kingdom on high and are full of everlasting glory.
Neither starvation, nor tribulations, neither life nor death, O glorious ones, was able to separate you from the love of the Creator; wherefore, ye have inherited the kingdom of heaven, inexhaustible delight and gladness without end. Yet ask ye for us also the cleansing of grace and mercy.
Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion
O thou who within thy womb contained the infinite God, Who became man in His love for mankind, and received from thee our substance, manifestly deifying it: disdain me not, who am now sorrowful, O most pure one, but quickly take pity and free me from divers enmities and the harm of the evil one.
When the ewe-lamb who gave Thee birth saw Thee, the Lamb and Shepherd, upon the Tree, she lamented maternally and cried out to Thee: “O my Son most desired, how is it that Thy hands and feet have been pierced with nails by the iniquitous, O Word? How hast Thou shed Thy blood, O Master?”
Canon of the martyrs, the acrostic whereof is: “Save me, O ye multitude of right victorious martyrs”, the composition of Theophanes, in Tone VIII
Irmos: Having traversed the water as though it were dry land, and escaped the evil of Egypt, the Israelite cried aloud: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!
O ye multitude of glorious athletes, entreat Christ, Who hath a multitude of compassions, that He lift the multitude of mine evils, that I may praise your triumph.
Serving the true and living God, O passion-bearers, ye would in nowise offer worship to inanimate gods, but offered yourselves as living sacrifices to the Bestower of life.
The ungodly published an edict repugnant to God, but in the midst of the tribunal the forty athletes proclaimed the incarnate Word Who hath delivered the world from irrationality.
Theotokion: I hymn thee, O most hymned Virgin, for Thou alone gavest flesh to God through thy precious blood, and in manner past recounting didst awesomely give birth to Him.
Irmos: Thou art the confirmation of those who have recourse to Thee, O Lord; Thou art the light of the benighted; and my spirit doth hymn Thee.
With their sacred mouths the athletes preached the Lord before the tyrants, suffering patiently.
The athletes manifestly gave themselves over to have their members severed for Christ, loving Him with burning zeal.
Those with the divine Terence, who were bound for Christ, have loosed the bonds of vanity.
Theotokion: Save me, O pure Mother who gavest birth to the all-good Lord, and still thou the greatly tumultuous storm of my soul.
Sessional hymn, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Having been lifted up…”
The forty passion-bearers of Christ, armed with the power of Christ, felled the hordes of the demons with faith; and, dying, they passed over, rejoicing, to an immortal end; and they ask remission of transgressions for us who ever celebrate their triumph.
Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion
Though I love sin, yet do I beseech thee, O all-pure one, who gavest birth to the sinless God: take pity on my greatly sinful soul and wash away my many sins; for thou art the cleansing of sinners and the salvation and help of the faithful.
She who in latter times gave birth in the flesh to Thee Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, O Christ, seeing Thee hanging upon the Cross, cried: “Woe is me, O most beloved Jesus! How is it that Thou, Who art glorified as God by the angels, O Savior, art now voluntarily crucified by the iniquitous? I hymn Thee, O Long-suffering One!”
Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy dispensation; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.
More lustrous than sapphires and gold in your manifestation of steadfast struggles, O martyrs, ye were adorned with the infliction of wounds.
Having received life-bearing activity from the life-giving Trinity, ye drive all pain, all mortality from men’s bodies and souls.
“We will not deny the Lord! We will not sacrifice to mindless demons!” the divinely wise cried out when they were tormented with pain and tortures.
Theotokion: Surrounded by dangers, I call upon thee for help, O most immaculate Mistress. Haste thou and save me, O thou who gavest birth to the Savior and Word.
Irmos: Waking at dawn, we cry to Thee: Save us, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee.
By your endurance of laceration, O most lauded athletes, ye cast down the strength of falsehood.
Having dried up the abyss of falsehood with the torrents of your blood, O blessed ones, ye have given drink to every soul.
Ye have shown yourselves to be a meadow of many flowers, O godly martyrs, emitting the sweet fragrance of the Holy Spirit.
Theotokion: O all-pure one, thy Son, Who loveth mankind and was born of thee, hath shown Himself to be the Deliverer of the human race.
Irmos: I pour forth my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him do I declare my grief; for my soul is full of evil and my life hath drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I pray: Lead me up from corruption, O God!
Made steadfast by Thy might, O Jesus, the honored and right victorious martyrs cast down the power of the enemy and were shown to be truly mighty, doing battle against the weakness of the flesh and casting down their mighty adversary.
Vanquishing the serpent who assumeth many forms, thou didst truly crush his head with thy feet; and thy victorious brow hath received a crown, O Terence, martyr of Christ, companion of the holy angels.
The shrine of the martyrs poureth forth healings, washeth away sufferings, cleanseth the defilement of souls and drowneth hordes of the demons; and it watereth the hearts of all the pious with grace.
Theotokion: The Prophet Habbakuk foresaw thee as a mountain overshadowed, O Theotokos, from whence God issued forth, incarnate, in manner past recounting, and saved the world which is grievously assailed by the tempest of cruel sin.
Kontakion, in Tone II, Special Melody: “The Theotokos, who is ever-vigilant…”
Today the honored memorial of the martyrs Terence and his companions hath arrived, gladdening all things. Wherefore, let us hasten, that we may receive healing; for they have received from God the grace of the Holy Spirit, for healing the infirmities of our souls.
Irmos: In the furnace the Hebrew children boldly trod the flame underfoot and transformed the fire into dew, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!
Having acquired ears right ready to listen to the precepts of God unto their divine fulfillment, O wise ones, ye chanted with great diligence: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!
With the laws of God ye opposed the edicts of the iniquitous who commanded you to deny Christ, O athletes. To Him let us chant: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!
Giving your members over to torture, ye rejected the body out of love for Him Who appeared on earth and assumed our flesh. To Him do ye chant, O martyrs: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!
Theotokion: Having ineffably conceived Christ in thy womb, by the Fruit of thy womb, O all-immaculate one, thou settest aright our first parents, who of old became corrupt through the disobedience of unseemly offense.
Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for the pious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!
The divinely wise Terence and Africanus, Maximus and Pompey, Alexander and Zephon, the glorious Theodore, together with the thirty-three others who contended with them, confessing Christ, the Savior of all, before the tyrants’ tribunal, suffered valiantly.
Tortured for Christ, beaten with thongs of hide, pitilessly lacerated, pricked with tridents, cast to the wild beasts, their sides scorched with burning stakes, the athletes cried aloud: Ye priests, bless! Ye people, exalt Him supremely forever!
Bearing the word of life, the right victorious martyrs saved those dying in deception and slew the enemy, depicting the radiant suffering and death of Christ; and they received a blessed end through multifarious tortures, hymning Him for all ages.
Theotokion: O most immaculate one, enliven my deadened soul, raise it up, which hath fallen, and heal it by the spear which pierced the divine side of the Savior who was incarnate of thy womb. Him do the children bless, the priests hymn and the people exalt supremely for all ages.
Irmos: Every ear trembleth to hear of the ineffable condescension of God, for the Most High willingly came down even to the flesh, becoming man through the Virgin’s womb. Wherefore we, the faithful, magnify the all-pure Theotokos.
Ever flooded by the well-spring of the divine Spirit, the shrine of the martyrs poureth forth healing. Come ye most diligently, and let us draw forth, sanctifying body, heart and soul, and faithfully magnifying Christ the Savior, O ye who love the martyrs.
Like flowers of the garden of God, like mystic roses did ye blossom forth; and ye have filled the Church with precious fragrance, driving far away the fœtid falsehood of the enemy with divine grace, O ye forty martyrs of Christ.
Today, O ye faithful, with faith let us praise and bless Maximus and Alexander, Theodore, Zephon and Pompey, Africanus and Terence, with the other athletes, hymning their struggles.
The earth took unto itself your blood and your suffering bodies, and heaven received your divine spirits. The armies of the angels assembled to honor your triumph, O wise ones, and Christ hath crowned you as victors.
Theotokion: O portal of the Light, illumine my soul, which hath become darkened, benighted and vexed by disobedience, and show me forth as a partaker of the divine day, that I may glorify thee, the unashamed intercessor of the faithful.
The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen