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The 7th Day of the Month of March

The Commemoration of the Holy Hieromartyrs who were Bishops in Cherson: Basil, Ephraim, Capito, Eugene, Ætherius & Others

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…,” these stichera, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Thou hast given a sign…”

O fathers of heavenly mind, ye were invincible martyrs, most laudable hierarchs and beacons of the universe, immovable pillars of the Church of God and foundation for the dogmas, instructors of the pious and destroyers of falsehood, luminous guides for our souls, fellow citizens with the angels and champions of the Trinity.

With divine discourses let the glorious Ephraim be blessed, together with the divinely wise Basil, the great Capito, the godly Agathadorus, Elpidius and Ætherius, and the glorious Eugene; for, having lived venerably and suffered in sacred manner, they were shown to dwell in the kingdom of heaven.

Having slain carnal knowledge with feats of asceticism, the glorious Basil restored a dead man to life by invoking the name of God; and the most sacred shepherd Capito, rejoicing while standing in the midst of the flame, was seen to be unconsumed. By their supplications, O Thou Who lovest mankind, grant us the means of atonement and Thy great mercy.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone & melody

Take away the defilement of my passionate heart, O most hymned Theotokos, cleanse thou all the wounds and corruption thereof which cometh from sin, O pure one, and still the wavering of my mind; that I, thy wretched and unprofitable servant, may magnify thy power and thy great assistance.

Stavrotheotokion

The pure one, beholding Christ, Who loveth mankind, crucified, His side pierced by a spear, cried aloud, weeping: “What is this, O my Son? How have the thankless people rewarded Thee for the good things Thou hast done for them? And dost Thou make haste to leave me childless? I marvel, O Compassionate One, at Thy voluntary crucifixion!”

At Matins

The canon, the acrostic whereof is: “I honor the choir of seven pastors,” the composition of Joseph, 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.

O martyrs infused with outpourings of divine light, deliver from the gloom of the passions those who ever piously praise this your brilliant and splendid feast.

The incarnate Word of God showed you, the most blessed pastors, how to proclaim His divinity to the erring and to those who languish in ignorance, O venerable ones.

Full of the life-creating waters of the Spirit, ye gave drink unto those who wasted away in the heat of the cruel one, and guided them to the water of salvation, O glorious ones.

Theotokion: In manner past understanding hath the ban on our ancestors been lifted by thine Offspring, O all-pure one, and they have regained their original access to paradise, praising thee aloud.

Ode III

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

Enkindled with divine fire, O Basil most wise, thy mind utterly consumed the tinder of ungodliness, in that thou wast a most excellent pastor.

With the light of the Spirit, O glorious one, didst thou draw those who are in the darkness of cruel passions toward the enlightenment of holy baptism.

Thy steps were directed toward God, O Basil, and by grace didst thou turn all from the path of deception to the knowledge of God.

Theotokion: Thou gavest birth unto the mighty God Who delivereth men from the violence of the enemy, O all-pure and most hymned Virgin.

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

Sanctified by the myrrh of anointing, ye were shown to be pastors to the divinely wise people; and sacrificed like pure lambs, ye offered yourselves to the Word, the Chief Shepherd, Who was slaughtered like a lamb, O most lauded martyrs and luminaries of the whole world. Wherefore, with love we all celebrate your godly memory.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

Like a vine which hath not been cultivated didst thou produce the most comely Cluster of grapes which poureth forth upon us the wine which maketh glad the souls and bodies of all. Wherefore, ever blessing thee as the cause of good things, with the angel we cry to thee: Rejoice, O thou Who art full of grace!

Stavrotheotokion

Thy pure Mother who kneweth not wedlock, beholding Thee hanging dead upon the Cross, O Christ, said, weeping maternally: “How hath the iniquitous and thankless assembly of the Jews, which enjoyed Thy manifold and great gifts, rewarded Thee, O my Son? I hymn Thy divine condescension!”

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!

Let the choir of the most sacred martyrs be hymned; for, illumined with the grace of the priesthood and martyrdom, it chanteth in gladness: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

By the Holy Spirit are Ephraim and Agathadorus, Basil and Capito, Ætherius, Eugene and the godly Elpidius, shown to be God-bearing helmsmen of the Church.

Having learned divine things, O godly fathers, ye shepherded the people in holiness and righteousness, and received your end by martyrdom, O blessed ones.

Taught by thee to believe in Christ our God, O most sacred martyr Basil, those who were dead through unbelief received eternal life through the resurrecting of the dead man.

Theotokion: Having given birth to the hypostatic Life, Christ our God Who in His loving-kindness became man in manner past understanding, O Virgin, thou gavest life to mortal men.

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.

Calling upon the name of the Lord with faith, O God-bearing fathers, ye drained the cup of honorable suffering.

He Who alone breatheth resurrection upon the dead, at thy supplication, O Basil, raised up a dead man, rendering thy preaching luminous.

Proclaiming the Son equal in honor to the Father, O fathers, ye expelled the tyranny of polytheistic idolatry.

Theotokion: Blessed are the people who know thee to be the Mother of the Master of all and with love call thee blessed, O most immaculate one.

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 praises let us crown Agathadorus and Eugene, the great Basil and the wise Elpidius, who are valiant martyrs and hierarchs.

Setting the laws of salvation before the iniquitous by nurturing in the laws of the Spirit, O most wise ones, ye drew them toward the enlightenment of piety.

Ye were sheep of divers cities, yet were shown to be shepherds of one people and heirs of the city of God, wherein ye reside, O martyrs who have pleased God.

Theotokion: The shadows of the law and the indistinct images of the prophets prefigured thee, O most immaculate Virgin, as the one who, at the ineffable word, conceived the Offspring Who saveth the world.

Kontakion, in Tone II, Special Melody: “He Who dwelleth in the highest…”

The radiant day of the pastors who were bishops in Cherson hath dawned with splendor. We hymn the feast of those who suffered for the sheep of Christ. O hieromartyrs, entreat Christ, the Chief Shepherd, that He honor us with a place with the sheep on His right hand, that we may cry aloud to you: Rejoice, O sacred fathers who shed your blood for Christ!

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!

Rejoicing, thou didst enter the furnace, O Capito, yet thou didst remain unconsumed, like the three youths, rescuing from the fire to come the unbelievers, who came to believe through thy divine miracles.

Neither fearing nor daunted by the tyrant’s command, O most sacred Capito, thou didst array thyself in priestly vesture, bearing therein a fiery coal, O blessed one.

With thy divine words thou didst close off the path of foolishness, imparting an understanding of piety to all who were sunk in the abyss of the madness of idolatry, O Capito performer of the divine mysteries, who art acceptable to God.

Theotokion: The Word of God Who with His hand fashioned Eve, O Maiden, desiring to edify all, took on form within thy womb, He Who is equally enthroned with the Father and the Spirit, receiving a beginning in time.

Ode VIII

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 mortified the flesh with pain, O venerable fathers, ye won immortal life for all who were worshipping dead gods, who, saved, ever cry out with you: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Together let us hymn Eugene and Agathadorus, Ephraim and Elpidius, with Ætherius, Basil and Capito, O ye faithful, as destroyers of the enemy and hierarchs of Christ. To Him let us cry out: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

With thy teachings thou didst gladden the people, O father Ephraim, and now thou hast passed on to never-waning effulgence and everlasting gladness, receiving the reward for thy labors, and crying aloud: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Dwelling on earth like an angel, O most blessed Basil, through grace didst thou come to reign over the passions of the flesh; and thou didst pass on to the heavenly kingdom, standing before Christ the King, and crying out: Bless the Lord, O ye works of the Lord!

Theotokion: The Transcendent One, born of thee, O all-pure one, was seen as a man, manifesting Himself as dual in nature, activity and will, as was His pleasure, wherein He manifested Himself. To Him let us cry out: Bless the Lord, O 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.

Celebrating the sacred memory of the holy hieromartyrs, come ye, let us all honor with sacred hymns those who pray to our most compassionate God in our behalf.

Dragged across the ground by the ungodly, O godly martyrs, ye were shown to be like precious stones, shattering the hardness of deception with the power of God. Wherefore, ye are called blessed, as is meet.

Today, the city of Cherson doth celebrate your memory, for ye were shown to be its pillars, divine ramparts and foundations, pastors, teachers and intercessors, O blessed of God.

The choir of the fathers, with Eugene, Ephraim and Capito, Elpidius and Ætherius, the glorious Basil and the divinely wise Agathadorus, hath already been joined to the choir of the angels.

Theotokion: The Maiden full of the grace of God, bearing in her arms Christ Who holdeth all things in His hand, cried out in wonder, saying: “How can I recognize Thee as my Son, Who art mine unapproachable Creator?

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen