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The 4th Day Of The Month Of December

Commemoration Of The Holy Greatmartyr Barbara & Of Our Venerable Father John Of Damascus

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 6 stichera: 3 for the greatmartyr, in Tone II, Special Melody: “When from the Tree…”

When at the dreadful tribunal, the most blessed Juliana, beholding the glorious martyr Barbara, who was covered with wounds, her whole body lacerated by divers tortures, cried out with fervent tears: “O Word of God Who lovest mankind, grant now that I may share in her torments!”

The holy Barbara and Juliana, possessed of a single yearning towards piety, contended against the enemy, and, having mightily vanquished him, they were vouchsafed glory by Christ God. Wherefore, having done away with destructive passions, they bestow healings upon all the faithful.

When sweet death was pronounced upon thee, O most honored martyr Barbara, thou didst quickly finish thy course, rejoicing; and thou wast slaughtered by the all-iniquitous hands of thine ungodly father, and didst offer thyself up to God as comely fruit. Wherefore, truly joining chorus with the wise virgins, thou dost behold the effulgence of Christ thy Bridegroom.

And 3 stichera for the venerable John, in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “O all-glorious wonder…”

O most wise father John, thou hast adorned the Church of Christ with thy hymns, sweetly chanting things most divine through the activity of the Spirit, O most glorious father, striking thy harp and emulating all the musical modes of David. And causing it to sound, thou hast drawn all to thee with divine hymns.

O glorious father John, having forsaken the tumultuous turmoil of the world, thou didst hasten to the tranquility of Christ, O venerable one, and wast truly enriched with divine visions and acts and manifest splendors most rich. These hast thou ­imparted to the faithful, O most blessed one, resplendent in thy godly life.

Come, O mortals, and with songs let us piously hymn today the sacred and honorable festival of the venerable John; for he was truly counted worthy to receive divine illumination. O Thine ineffable compassion, O Lord, whereby we have come to know how to glorify Thee, the All-good One!

Glory…, of the greatmartyr, in Tone VI

Forsaking homeland, birthright and possessions, O Barbara, and spurning thine ungodly father, thou didst come to love God, to Whom thou didst betroth thyself; and thou didst become known as a great merchant. Him do thou entreat, that our souls be saved.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion, Special Melody: “On the third day…”

The pure Virgin, Thy Mother, beholding most iniquitous men nailing Thee unjustly to the Tree, O Savior, was wounded in her womb, as Symeon foretold.

At the Aposticha, the stichera of the Octoechos, and Glory…, of the venerable one, in Tone VI

O venerable father, report of thy corrections hath gone forth into all the earth. Wherefore, thou hast received the reward of thy labors in the heavens, hast destroyed hordes of the demons, and hast attained unto the ranks of the angels, whose life thou didst blamelessly emulate. As thou hast boldness before Christ God, ask thou peace for our souls.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or this stavro­Theotokion

Beholding Thee crucified, O Christ, she who gave Thee birth cried out: “What is this strange mystery which I see, O my Son? How is it that Thou diest on the Tree, suspended in the flesh, O Bestower of life?”

Troparion of the greatmartyr, in Tone VIII

Let us honor the holy Barbara; for the most honored one broke the snares of the enemy and was delivered from them like a bird, with the help and aid of the Cross.

Glory…: Troparion of the venerable one, in the same tone

O instructor of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and purity, beacon for the whole world, John most wise: by thy doctrines thou hast illumined all. O harp of the Spirit, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or Stavrotheotokion.

At Matins

On “God is the Lord…”, the Troparion of the greatmartyr, twice; Glory…, that of the venerable one; Now and ever…, Theotokion or Stavrotheotokion.

One canon from the Octoechos, with 6 Troparia; and one canon for both of the saints, with 4 Troparia each.

Ode I

Canon of the Greatmartyr, in Tone II

Irmos: Overwhelming power once laid low the whole army of Pharaoh in the deep, and the incarnate Word hath destroyed pernicious sin. All-glorious is the Lord, for gloriously hath He been glorified.

O all-blessed and worshipful Trinity Who givest gifts to Thy servants which are beyond comprehension, breathe Thou a ray of splendor into my darkened mind, that I may praise the ever-memorable martyr Barbara. Twice

The glory of Thy martyrs hath truly passed every bound of praise, O Thou Who lovest mankind; yet, accepting the praise we offer thee with faith according to our measure, O Master, send down upon us rich rewards.

A most beauteous rose sprang forth from a thorny root and hath perfumed the Church of Christ: the glorious Barbara, who dyed her vesture in the blood of her suffering. Her do we hymn as is meet.

Canon of the Venerable One, in the same tone

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon.

To me who desire to begin thy laudation grant me now thy mellifluous voice, O venerable one, wherewith thou didst with hymns illumine the Orthodox Church which honoreth thy memory, O father John. Twice

Perceiving the nature of things most excellently, as a wise judge keen of intellect thou didst prefer eternal things to those which do not last; for thou didst trade transitory things for those which are abiding, O John, where Christ hath now glorified thee.

Theotokion: Thou hast been shown to surpass all creation, visible and invisible, O pure Ever-virgin; for thou gavest birth to the Creator, in that it was His good pleasure to become incarnate in thy womb. Him do thou entreat with boldness, that He save those who hymn thee.

Ode III

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: The desert, the barren Church of the nations, blossomed like a lily at Thine advent, O Lord; and therein hath my heart been established.

Wounded by the love of Thee, her Bridegroom, O Master, the passion-bearer Barbara rejected all the ungodliness of her father with unrestrained vehemence.

Neither the sweet beauty and comeliness of flowers, nor riches, nor yet the sweetness of youth satisfied thee, O goodly virgin, glorious Barbara, who had become the bride of Christ.

Neither the obstacle of a womanly nature nor her youthful stature impeded the martyr’s perfect struggles, O Christ; for she was fortified by Thine invisible power.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Thou didst distribute thy wealth, thereby giving it back to God; wherefore, the kingdom in the heavens hath been prepared for thee, and thou hast now received a vastly increased reward, O John.

Receiving the talant of wisdom, O John, thou didst adorn the Church of Christ, ornamenting it with thy deeds; and, departing this life, thou hast increased it exceedingly.

Theotokion: The ranks of angels were astonished, O all-pure one, and the hearts of men were filled with awe at thy birthgiving. Wherefore, we honor thee, the Theotokos, with faith.

Kontakion of the venerable one, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Having been lifted up upon the Cross…”

Let us hymn John, the honored and divinely eloquent speaker and hymnographer, the instructor and teacher of the Church, the opponent of the enemy; for taking up the Cross of the Lord as a sword, he hath cut down all the falsehood of heresies, and as a fervent intercessor before God he bestoweth forgiveness of transgressions upon all.

Ikos: Together let us cry out to the instructor, teacher and priest of the Church, as an initiate of ineffable mysteries: By thy supplications to God open our mouths and vouchsafe that we may speak the words of thy doctrines; for thou didst appear in the world as one who shareth in the Trinity, shining forth in the world like another sun, illumining all with thy miracles and teachings, like Moses ever instructing in the law of the Lord. And thou wast a luminary in word and deed, praying unceasingly, that forgiveness of transgressions be given to all.

Sessional hymn, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Awed by the beauty of thy virginity…”

In thy suffering thou didst amaze all, for thou didst endure the wounding, bonds, tortures and imprisonment inflicted upon thee by the tormenters, O all-lauded Barbara. Wherefore, Christ hath bestowed upon thee a crown in heaven, and it is to Him that thou didst flee, desiring Him earnestly. He hath imparted unto thee, O martyr, the grace to pour forth healings upon men.

Glory…: Sessional hymn of the venerable one, in the same tone

Thou hast been shown to us to be a melodious and sanctified clarion, O most sacred one, sounding forth in hymnody the teachings of the Lord and Savior to the ends of the earth; and by thy words thou hast illumined the earth. O venerable John, entreat Christ God, that He grant us great mercy.

Now and ever…: Theotokion

Thou wast the divine tabernacle of the Word, O only all-pure Mother and Virgin, who hast surpassed the angels in purity. With the divine waters of thy prayers, O pure one, cleanse me who, more than all others, am dust, defiled by carnal transgressions; and grant me great mercy.

Stavrotheotokion

The unblemished ewe-lamb of the Word, the incorrupt Virgin Mother, beholding Him Who had sprung forth from her without pain, suspended upon the Cross, cried out, lamenting maternally: “Woe is me, O my Child! How is it that Thou sufferest willingly, desiring to deliver man from the indignity of the passions?”

Ode IV

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: Thou didst come forth from the Virgin, neither a mediator nor an angel, but Thyself incarnate, O Lord, and hast saved me, the whole man; wherefore, I cry to thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

O Thou Who wast born of the Virgin, Thou hast given to virgin maidens the boldness to cast down the deceiver. Wherefore, the right victorious Barbara put his arrogance to shame.

Our first mother, led astray of old by the machinations of the deceiver, was driven from the food of paradise; but Barbara, putting him to shame, hath now made her abode in the bridal-chamber of heaven.

Thou didst destroy the power of death by Thy Cross; wherefore, the maiden Barbara, sparing not her body, most valiantly endured wounding with steadfast mind.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Submitting to the command of Christ, thou didst forsake the beauty, wealth, sweetness and splendor of the world; and taking up thy cross for His sake, O wise John, thou didst follow after Him.

Impoverishing thyself for Christ Who impoverished Himself for the sake of man’s salvation, thou wast glorified with Him as He promised, and dost now reign with Him Who reigneth forever, O John.

Theotokion: All of us, the faithful, know thee to be the haven of salvation and an insuperable rampart, O Mistress Theotokos; for by thy supplications thou dost deliver our souls from tribulations.

Ode V

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: Thou art a Mediator between God and man, O Christ God; for by Thee, O Master, are we led up out of the night of ignorance to Thy Father, the Source of light.

Commanding that the bath-house be lighted by three windows, O Barbara, thou didst mystically describe baptism, which, through the light of the Trinity, is the radiant cleansing of the soul.

Aflame with zeal for God, the most lauded maiden Barbara spat upon the vile faces of the false deities, putting to shame the prince of this world.

Opening for Barbara, who was fleeing the savagery of her cruel father, the mountain straightway received her, like the ever-memorable protomartyr Thecla of old; for Christ wrought a miracle.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Made steadfast in the divine life by the fear of Christ, O father John, thou didst subject all thy carnal mind to thy spirit, cleansing thy senses.

Having carefully purified body, mind and soul of all defilement, O divinely wise one, thou didst receive the splendor of the triple Sun, Who doth enrich thee with radiant gifts.

Theotokion: Entreat thy Son and Lord, O pure Virgin, that He grant deliverance from the assaults of the adversary to all captives and peace to those who set their hope on thee.

Ode VI

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: Stuck fast am I in the abyss of sin, O Savior, and tempest-tossed on the deep of life; yet lead me up from the passions and save me, as Thou didst Jonah from the sea monster.

As Thou didst promise to give divinely imparted wisdom unto those who stand before the tyrants’ tribunals for Thy sake, the martyr Barbara was filled therewith.

With divinely wise words thou didst denounce the falsehood of the ungodly, O glorious Barbara, and in enduring the deeds of the tyrants thou didst astonish the wise.

The blameless athlete gave her body over to be pitilessly afflicted with wounds and to be abraded thoroughly with rags of horse-hair, for the sake of Christ.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Illumined by the grace of the Spirit, and manifestly enriched by the knowledge of human things, thou didst generously distribute thy substance to the needy, O John.

Like the choirs of heaven didst thou adorn the Church in Orthodox manner, intoning divine choral hymns to the Trinity.

Theotokion: Thou gavest birth without knowing man, O Virgin, and remainest eternally virgin, revealing the true Godhead of thy Son and God in images.

Kontakion of the greatmartyr, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Having been lifted up upon the Cross…”

Following God Who is piously hymned in Trinity, O athlete, thou didst dim the pagan temples; and, suffering amid thy contest, O Barbara of manly mind, thou didst not fear the threats of the tyrants, ever chanting aloud: “I worship the Trinity, the One God!”

Ikos: Assembling, let us honor, as is meet, Barbara, who made herself the bride of Christ through martyrdom; for, delivered from soul-corrupting danger, destruction and earthquake through her supplications, we lead our life in peace, vouchsafed Thy mercies, O Savior, with all the saints who have pleased Thee from ages past, to walk in the light and to chant with them. And Thou hast astonished all men who confess with faith: We worship the Trinity, the One God!

Ode VII

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: The command of the iniquitous tyrant, opposed to God, raised up a lofty flame; but Christ, Who is blessed and all-glorious, spread a spiritual dew upon the pious youths.

The tyrant who rageth in vain to destroy the earth and annihilate the sea lieth like a plaything beneath the feet of the maiden Barbara; for Christ, having trampled Him down, hath bound him like a vile bird.

When thy whole body was wracked with unbearable wounds and empurpled with drops of thy blood, O most lauded martyr, glorious Barbara, thou didst endure scorching by torches applied to thy sides.

O the inhuman and pitiless savagery and exceeding ungodliness of the torments! For with swords they cruelly severed the breasts of the martyr as though in a butcher’s shop, but her mind was set steadfastly on Christ, the Judge of the contest.

Canon of the Venerable One

Ikos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Afire with zeal, with thy splendid writings thou didst strike down all the false knowledge of God-opposing heresies, O John, manifestly elucidating what had been sown of old and written carefully by the wise.

With the discourses and the dogmas which thou didst compile thou didst fervently denounce the blasphemous impiety of the abominable ­disciples of Manes, which strove to infect the Church of Christ, O John.

Theotokion: O undefiled Virgin, Mother unwedded, we know thee to be more holy than the saints, in that thou alone gavest birth to the immutable God; for thou hast poured forth incorruption upon all the faithful by thy divine birthgiving.

Ode VIII

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fiery furnace divided its activity at the command of God, consuming the Chaldæans, but bedewing the faithful, who chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Christ appeared to thee in prison, O Barbara, surrounded by light unapproachable, commanding thee to be of good cheer, healing thy wounds and granting thee joy; wherefore, thou hast lovingly taken wing to thy Bridegroom.

Manifestly hath Thy prophecy been fulfilled, O Christ; for the father giveth his own child over to death, the wretched parent becoming the instigator of Thy martyr’s slaughter. Wherefore, he was destroyed by fire from heaven.

An angel of light arrayed thee like a bride in splendid vesture, O Barbara, who wast stripped naked for Christ’s sake and wast subjected to suffering; for thou didst shed thy garments, receiving divine transformation.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Thou didst openly denounce the division of Nestorius, the confusion of Severus and the monothelite foolishness, O thrice-blessed John, shining forth the radiance of Orthodoxy upon all the ends of the earth in the one true Faith.

The enemy sowed the tares of heresy abundantly in the Church of Christ, that the worship of Christ in His precious icons might be eliminated; but he did not find thee sleeping, O most blessed John, who uprootest every seed of evil.

Theotokion: Without seed didst thou conceive Him Who is inseparable from the Father and dwelt in thy womb as God and man, and thou gavest birth to Him ineffably, O all-pure Theotokos. Wherefore, we confess thee to be the salvation of us all.

Ode IX

Canon of the Greatmartyr

Irmos: God the Lord, the Son of the unoriginate Father, hath revealed Himself to us incarnate of the Virgin, to enlighten those in darkness and to gather the dispersed. Wherefore, we magnify the all-hymned Theotokos.

Meeting the glorious end of thy martyrdom under the sword, O Barbara, and vouchsafed crowns of martyrdom with Juliana, thou didst hear the voice of God, which filled thee with power.

United now with Christ thy Bridegroom, shining with the glory of divine light in the mansions of heaven, O Barbara, look down upon those who hymn thee, lightening our sufferings and leading us to the living God.

Christ, fulfilling thy request, O athlete Barbara, granteth healings unto those who with faith keep thine annual memorial. For truly thy right glorious miracles have surpassed the sands of the sea in number.

Canon of the Venerable One

Irmos: Same as that of the foregoing canon

Thou hast taught all the children of the Church to hymn in Orthodox fashion the worshipful Unity in Trinity, and manifestly to theologize the divine incarnation of the Word, O John, explaining those things in the sacred Scriptures which many find difficult to understand .

Having hymned the ranks of the saintsthe pure Theotokos, the forerunner of Christ, the apostles, the prophets, fasters and wise teachers, the righteous and the martyrs, O John, thou dost now abide in their mansions.

Theotokion: In manner past understanding, O Virgin Theotokos, thou becamest the bridal-chamber of the incarnation of the Word, arrayed and embroidered with the glory of the virtues. Wherefore, we proclaim thee to be the Theotokos, O most immaculate one.

Exapostilarion of the Octoechos, and that of the greatmartyr, Special Melody: “Hearken, ye women…”

Like a most beautiful rose, dyed with the blood of thy sacred suffering, thou didst spring forth from a thorny root, O virgin martyr Barbara. Now do thou lovingly save from misfortunes those who keep thy divine memory.

Glory…, that of the venerable one

Thou didst shine forth like a divine light upon the Church, O our father, illumining it with the splendor of thy hymns and the light of thy character, whereby thou dost reveal as adorned the dogmas of Christ, to Whom do thou never cease to pray for us, O John.

Now and ever…: Theotokion

Saved by thee, we confess thee to be the true Theotokos, O Mistress; for thou didst ineffably give birth to God Who destroyed death by His Cross and drew to Himself the assemblies of the venerable, with whom we praise thee, O Virgin.

On the Praises, 4 stichera of the greatmartyr

The composition of Anatolius, idiomelon, in Tone I

Disdaining the sweetness of earthly food and the riches of thy father, and despising glory as well, thou didst love the heavenly Bridegroom, O most glorious Barbara; for, beheaded by the sword, thou didst enter unto Christ the Bridegroom with the wise virgins. Wherefore, dispelling the deadly plague, thou dost heal the faithful by the activity of the Holy Spirit and prayest unceasingly for our souls.

The composition of Byzantius, in Tone II

The wicked enemy is put to shame, vanquished by a woman, as our first mother was lured into sin; for Christ, the Word of the Father who was incarnate of the Virgin without change or confusion, as He Himself knew, lifted the curse from Eve and Adam, and He crowned the martyr Barbara as is meet, granting the world cleansing and great mercy for her sake.

The divinely called martyr Barbara, suffering at the tribunal, said: “Cruel are my present torments, O ye torturers, but joyful will it be to receive everlasting life! I shall never prefer earthly things to those of heaven! Wherefore, cut ye and lacerate my flesh, and give me over to the fire, that, rejoicing, I may depart unto Christ my Bridegroom!” Through her supplications, O Christ God, send down Thy mercies and save us who with faith celebrate her sufferings.

Come, ye people, let us sing the festival of the athlete Barbara today; for neither sword, nor fire, nor any torment, nor the crafty snares of Belial could triumph over her. To her do we cry out with faith: Entreat Christ, O good and most glorious martyr, that He grant us great mercy.

Glory…, the composition of John the Monk, in Tone VI

Treading the path of suffering, O most honored Barbara, thou didst avoid the counsel of thy father. Bearing a lamp like a wise virgin, thou didst enter into the courts of thy Lord, and as a manly-wise martyr thou hast received the grace to heal carnal passions. Deliver us all, who hymn thee, from spiritual sickness by thy prayers unto God.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or this stavro­Theotokion

The most pure one, when she beheld Thee hanging on the Cross, said, weeping maternally: “O my Son and my God, my Child most sweet, how is it that Thou endurest a violent death?”

At the Aposticha, stichera from the Octoechos, and Glory…, of the venerable one, in Tone VIII

We, the multitude of monks, honor thee, our instructor, O John our father; for by thy footsteps have we truly learned to walk aright. Blessed art thou who, laboring for Christ, didst denounce the power of the enemy, O converser with angels, companion of the venerable and the righteous. With them pray unto the Lord, that our souls find mercy.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion, Special Melody: “O all-glorious wonder…”

“I cannot bear to see Thee asleep upon the Tree, O my Child Who grantest wakefulness to all! But grant Thou divine and saving wakefulness unto those who sleep the sleep of destruction because of the fruit of disobedience which was eaten of old,” said the Virgin, weeping, whom we magnify.

At Divine Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 Troparia: 4 from Ode III of the canon of the greatmartyr, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the venerable one.

Prokimenon, in Tone IV

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Stichos: In congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

Epistle to the Galatians, §208 [Gal 3:23-29]

Brethren: Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Alleluia, in Tone I

Stichos: With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication.

Stichos: And He brought me up out of the pit of misery, and from the mire of clay.

Gospel according to Mark, §21 [5: 24-34]

At that time, many people followed Jesus, and thronged Him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Communion Verse

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; praise is meet for the upright.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen