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The 22nd Day of the Month of April

Commemoration of Our Father Among the Saints, Theodore of Sykeon, Bishop of Anastasiopolis

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, these stichera, in Tone V, Special Melody: “O venerable father…”

O venerable father, sacred Theodore, thou wast sanctified from thy mother’s womb, and like Jeremiah of old wast known to God. A star heralded thy nativity, the whole world hath truly been enlightened by the splendor of thy life, and the darkness of the demons hath vanished. Infirmities have been driven away from men of every age, and grace hath poured forth all manner of healings. Wherefore, we cry out to thee: Do thou ever entreat Christ, that He grant unto the world great mercy.

O venerable father, right wondrous Theodore, having consumed all the tinder of sin with mighty abstinence and the fire of prayer, thou didst receive divine illumination: thou didst cause the grace of the Trinity to abide in thee, and becamest wholly radiant, emitting rays of healing, beholding things to come, as did Elisha of old, sundering the bonds of barrenness, driving away hordes of demons with the power of the divine Spirit, and beseeching Him, that He grant peace and great mercy to the whole world.

O venerable father, most honored Theodore, thou sun who hast illumined the earth with thy works and countless signs, precious gift given to Christ God, excellent foundation of the priesthood, model of monastics, confirmation of those who have recourse to thee with faith, precious stone, house of the Trinity, bowl pouring forth an abyss of healings: pray thou ever to Christ, that He grant to the whole world peace and great mercy.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

To whom hast thou likened thyself, O my soul, ever excelling in what is worse and mindlessly adding manifold stripes to thy wounds, giving no thought that thou wilt become wounded thy whole body over, or that the Judge is approaching, before Whom thou wilt have to stand to receive sentence and retribution for thy deeds? Yet, turning, fall down before the Virgin, crying: O Mistress, O Mistress, disdain not me who have angered the right merciful God Who was born of thee for the salvation of men and was crucified in the flesh!

Stavrotheotokion

When thou didst behold suspended upon the Tree the unplanted Cluster of grapes which, like a vine, thou didst produce, His divine side pierced by a spear, thou didst say: “What is this, O my Son and God? How is it that Thou Who healest all infirmities and sufferings dost endure suffering, though in Thy divine nature Thou art dispassionate? How hath the ungrateful people recompensed Thee for Thy good works, O Benefactor?” the all-pure one cried out. Pray thou unceasingly, that by His sufferings He free me from the passions, that I may glorify thee.

Troparion, in Tone II

Known to be sanctified from thine earliest infancy, and shown to be full of grace, thou didst illumine the world with miracles, and didst drive away a multitude of the demons, O sacred minister Theodore; wherefore, pray thou to the Lord in our behalf.

At Matins

Canon of the holy hierarch, the composition of Joseph, in Tone IV

Ode I

Irmos: Let us chant unto God our Deliverer, Who of old guided Israel fleeing from the slavery of Pharaoh, and fed them in the wilderness, for He hath been glorified.

The noetic Sun showed thee forth, O all-wise one, as a divinely radiant star of the firmament of the Church ever emitting rays of miracles and destroying the darkness of the passions.

The Creator, sanctifying thee from thy mother’s womb, as He did Jeremiah of old, O venerable father Theodore, made thee a right useful vessel of the Spirit, who drivest away evil spirits.

With the sweat of thine ascetic endeavor thou didst quench the flame of the passions, O Theodore, and with the rain of thy prayers thou didst pour forth streams of miracles, manifestly extinguishing the burning heat of ailments.

Theotokion: From thy womb did the uncultivated Cluster of grapes spring forth, O pure Virgin Mother, exuding the sweetness of remission and the gladness of immortality for those rendered foolish by the drunkenness of evils.

Ode III

Irmos: O Lord Who dost establish the thunder and formest the wind: make me steadfast, that I may hymn Thee in truth and do Thy will; for none is as holy as Thee, O our God.

How wondrous is thy life, O divinely wise and most glorious Theodore, how awesome thy miracles, how exalted are thy union with God, thy yearning and unhindered ascent!

Thou didst avert the assault of the passions by surrendering to pain, O all-blessed Theodore, and didst set at nought the wicked pursuit of the demons by the might of the all-holy Spirit.

Having recourse to thy precious shrine, hymning thee, O Theodore, we draw forth therefrom treasures of healing, depths of miracles and abundant gifts.

Theotokion: In thee, O Virgin, are the laws of nature renewed; for in manner transcending nature and past recounting thou gavest birth to the Creator and Master. Him do thou earnestly beseech, that He save our souls.

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

Given by God to men as the namesake of gifts for deliverance from many ailments, thou didst work miracles, healing every disease and infirmity, and driving away hordes of demons by thy word alone. Wherefore, having worthily shepherded the Church of Christ, thou becamest a dweller with the apostles. O holy hierarch Theodore, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honor thy holy memory with love.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

Having fallen into the most subtle temptations of enemies, visible and invisible, stuck fast in the tempest of my countless offenses, I flee to the haven of thy goodness, O pure one, as to my fervent assistance and protection. Wherefore, O all-pure one, do thou earnestly entreat Him Who became incarnate of thee without seed, in behalf of all thy servants who unceasingly pray to thee, O all-pure Theotokos, ever beseeching Him to grant remission of our offenses unto us who hymn thy glory as is meet.

Stavrotheotokion

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

Ode IV

Irmos: I heard report of Thee, O God, and I was afraid; I understood Thy works, O Lord, and I was filled with awe, for the earth is full of Thy praise.

As a torrent manifestly full of divine waters, O father Theodore, thou givest drink to the whole Church with the gifts of the Spirit.

Thou didst choke the enemy with the cords of thy pangs, O all-blessed Theodore, and didst destroy his wicked armies with the sword of thy prayers.

Meditating on the law of God, by the springs of abstinence thou didst grow a divine tree, bringing forth the goodly fruit of virtuous works.

Theotokion: Thou wast shown to be blessed by all generations, giving birth to Christ Who maketh blessed those who labor for Him, O pure Virgin Mother and Mistress.

Ode V

Irmos: Shine forth upon me the light of Thy precepts, O Lord, for my spirit riseth early unto Thee and hymneth Thee: for Thou art our God, and I flee to Thee, O King of peace.

The timeless Light hath shown thee to be an ever-burning candle and an inextinguishable lamp for those stuck fast in the gloom of the passions and the darkness of many sins, O Theodore.

From earliest childhood thou didst have the martyr George guiding thee to the path of good, and thou didst emulate him with all zeal and love for the Lord, O venerable father.

Thou didst have immaculate abstinence, impeccable patience, faith, hope and humility, love and superhuman endurance; wherefore, thou hast acquired surpassing grace from God.

Theotokion: With the sprinkling of thy mercy, O all-pure one, give drink to my mind, which hath withered away through the flame of sin, and light thou the lamp of my heart, which hath gone out, O portal of the Light.

Ode VI

Irmos: The tempest of evil thoughts, having overtaken me, doth drag me down into the abyss of my countless sins; but, going before me, O good Helmsman, govern me and save me, as Thou didst the Prophet Jonah.

Thou didst shake off the grief of mortals and didst direct all thy desire toward the Master, delighting in His beauty and the splendors which proceed therefrom.

Drinking from a spring, thou didst cause the darkness of sin to dissolve, O father, and standing in the midst of the winds, thou didst endure their assaults like an incorporeal being, warmed by ­divine grace.

Approaching thy sacred shrine, we who honor thee with love are filled with the sweet fragrance of divine understanding, O wonder-working hierarch, and we are delivered from the foul stench of the passions, O venerable father.

Theotokion: The threefold billows of the passions beat upon me, and the abyss of despondency assaileth my heart. O Virgin who gavest birth to Christ the Helmsman and Savior, deliver and save me by thy supplications.

Kontakion, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Today the Virgin…”

Mounting upon the virtues as upon a fiery chariot, O God-bearer, thou didst ascend to the heavenly abodes. Thou didst dwell like an angel with men, and as a man thou joinest chorus with the angels. Wherefore, thou hast been shown to be a divine receptacle of miracles, O venerable Theodore.

Ode VII

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!

As a true holy hierarch thou didst offer up in the Spirit the unbloody sacrifice, and by the mortification of the passions, O all-blessed one, thou didst with faith offer thyself to the Master as a sacrifice of sweet savor.

Thou didst quench the fire of pleasures with the sweat of ascetic endeavor, and like Elijah, O wonder-worker, by thy prayers thou didst end the drought with showers of rain, opening the closed heavens by thy supplications.

Sanctified from childhood, with the boldness of thy prayers, thou didst cause the wombs of the barren to bear many children, didst give sight to the blind, and didst enable the lame to walk, O thrice-blessed Theodore.

Theotokion: God chose thee, the beauty of Jacob, and made His abode within thee; and He preserved thee a virgin after giving birth, as thou wast before birthgiving, O Virgin Theotokos.

Ode VIII

Irmos: O earth and all that is therein, O ye seas and every shower and dew, ye heavens of heavens, light and darkness, frost and burning heat, ye children of men and priests: bless ye the Lord, praise and exalt Him supremely forever!

Having established the ascents of thy soul upon the rock of patience, thou wast not overwhelmed by the assaults of the adversary, nor wast thou shaken by the attacks of the enemy; but thou hast hastened up to the heights of heaven, praying for those who honor thee in faith.

A stream of all manner of healings issueth forth from thy shrine: it washeth away the defilements of the passions, cleanseth away the mire of evils, O Theodore, and giveth drink to the hearts of all the faithful who honor thee with love.

Let the great Theodore now be praised: the namesake of divine gifts, the initiate of the mysteries of Christ, the adornment of fasters, the beauty of priests, the well-spring of miracles, the precious phial of the Spirit.

Theotokion: The sacred voices of the prophets proclaim thee in images as the door, the mountain, the tabernacle, the holy land, the cloud of the Light, from whence the Sun, Christ the Bestower of light, hath shone forth upon those in darkness and shadow, O Virgin.

Ode IX

Irmos: For He Who is mighty hath magnified me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him, throughout all generations.

Like the dawn, like the radiant day hath thy feast appeared, enlightening the hearts of us who with faith praise thine honored pangs, O father Theodore.

As a conversor with the angels, the apostles, martyrs, the venerable, the righteous and the holy hierarchs, O father, in the heavens thou dost ever entreat Christ in our behalf.

The day of salvation, the feast of gladness hath come! Let us hasten, O ye faithful, purifying our souls, for the holy hierarch Theodore doth summon us.

Theotokion: Awesome is thy birthgiving, O Theotokos, Mother of Christ! Wherefore, we call thee blessed, O pure one, and we, the generations of generations, glorify thee with honor forever. Amen.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen