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The 13th Day of the Month of March

The Commemoration of the Translation of the Relics of Our Father Among the Saints Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…,” these stichera, in Tone I, Special Melody: “Joy of the ranks of Heaven…”

The streams of thy wisdom, drawn from noetic clouds, pour forth a fountain of Orthodoxy upon the world; and we, the faithful, drawing forth sweetness therefrom, turn away from the emissions of heresy as from the bitter waters of Marah.

Lying in the tomb, thy most pure body did in nowise decay, but was found to be whole, O most blessed Nicephorus; and bearing it forth with zeal, those nurtured by Orthodoxy rejoiced, gloriously blessing thee, O divinely wise one.

The Church honored with the name of the Apostles received thee, O most blessed one, who through thy godly actions didst become a temple of God, and who after thine interment wast again interred in sacred manner and hast buried all the fœtid foolish pratings of the heretics.

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

Tempest-tossed upon the deep of transgression, having fled to the calm haven of thy most pure supplications, I cry out to thee, O Theotokos: Stretch forth thy mighty right hand to thy servant, and save me, O all-immaculate one.

Stavrotheotokion

As she beheld the Lamb uplifted upon the Cross, the unblemished Virgin cried out, weeping: “O my sweet Child, what new and strange sight do I behold? How is it that Thou Who holdest all things in Thy hand art nailed in the flesh to the Tree?”

At Matins

Canon to the holy hierarch, the composition of Ignatius, in Tone II

Ode I

Irmos: Come, ye people, let us chant a hymn to Christ God, Who divided the sea and guided the people whom He had led forth from the bondage of Egypt, for He hath been glorified.

As Thou art almighty, O Compassionate One, with Thine immortal gesture and the hand of Thy loving-kindness raise up and give life to me who am cruelly held fast in the tomb of my sins.

Having acquired perfection in the four native virtues, and mounted them as a chariot, O God-bearer, thou wast taken up to thy goal of divine vision by thine activity.

Having tasted of life incorruptible, thou didst quaff the draught of sobriety from the cup of God, O venerable one. Wherefore, thou didst become a receptacle of wisdom.

Driven from thy cathedra, glory and flock by the violent hand of the pernicious beasts of heresy, O venerable one, thou hast now entered into thy fold again.

Theotokion: By a word thou didst conceive the Word of the Father, and gavest birth to Him in manner beyond recounting; and after giving birth supernaturally and ineffably, thou hast remained a virgin as before.

Ode III

Irmos: Establish us in thee, O Lord Who hast slain sin by the Tree, and plant the fear of Thee in the hearts of us who hymn Thee.

Defending thyself with the weapon of the Cross, depicting the divine likeness of the Master, thou didst piously worship it, following the teachings of the Fathers.

Desiring thee, the shepherd who calleth it by name and driveth away wolves with the staff of faith, thy flock doth hasten to thee, O wise one.

As of old Israel bore the body of the chaste and godly Joseph from Egyptian exile back to Canaan, so now the Church of Christ doth honor the shrine of thy relics.

Theotokion: As the temple and sacred habitation of the Word, O all-holy and ever-virgin Theotokos, be thou the washing away of my transgressions.

Sessional hymn, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Of divine faith…”

As a victor thou didst crown the Church with triumphs, having driven away the infamy of false doctrine. And thou dost sanctify the ends of the earth by the translation of thy holy relics. O venerable father, entreat Christ God, that He grant us great mercy!

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

Thou wast the divine tabernacle of the Word, O only all-pure virgin Mother who surpassest the angels in purity. With the divine waters of thy supplications cleanse me who more than all others am become dust, defiled by transgressions of the flesh, O pure one, and grant me great mercy.

Stavrotheotokion

The unblemished Ewe-lamb of the Word, the incorrupt virgin Mother, beholding Him Who sprang forth from her without pain suspended upon the Cross, lamenting maternally cried out: “Woe is me, O my Child! How is it that Thou dost suffer of Thine own will, desiring to deliver man from the infamy of the passions?”

Ode IV

Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, of Thy glorious dispensation, and I have glorified Thine unapproachable power, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

An ark of sanctity from whence we draw forth a wellspring of healings hath thy shrine become for those who honor thee.

Thou didst drive out heresies and didst make steadfast the fold of thy flock, fencing it about with divine teachings.

As is meet, we honor the shrine of thy relics as a phial of perfume which emitteth the sweet fragrance of life for the faithful

Theotokion: Honoring thee as the noetic paradise that received Christ, the Tree of life, in thy womb, we therefore glorify thee, O Virgin.

Ode V

Irmos: O Lord, Bestower of light and Creator of the ages: guide us in the light of Thy commandments, for we know none other God than Thee.

The enemy is put to shame, and the heresiarchs become insane with rage, beholding thy shrine venerated with faith by the emperor and all thy flock, O divinely wise one.

Like a dreadful scourge doth thy sacred shrine drive out the evil spirits of the demons, and it receiveth from God the victory of divine glory over them, O Nicephorus.

The crucible of conscience heated by the fire of the Spirit showed thee to be as lustrous as gold through thy faith, exposing the vileness of the heretics.

Theotokion: Made comely by the descent of the all-holy Spirit, thou gavest suck unto God at thy breasts and heldest in thine arms Him Who holdeth all creation in His hand.

Ode VI

Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, I call upon the unfathomable abyss of Thy loving-kindness: Lead me up from corruption, O God!

Thou didst endure sufferings for the Faith, and for the precious traditions of the Fathers thou didst bear banishment; but thereby thou hast acquired most precious glory.

Thy firm faith and opposition aroused the fury of the tyrants; and thou becamest a pillar of fire for the honored Church, O blessed one.

Possessing thy shrine and dust as a lustrous pearl and gems of surpassing brilliance, O wise one, the Church is adorned with a crown of Orthodoxy.

Theotokion: Bands of men and angels honor the ineffable manner of thy birthgiving, O Mistress, glorifying thee who art more exalted than all other creatures.

Kontakion, in Tone I, Special Melody: “The choir of angels…”

The choir of patriarchs doth honor thy holy memory with praises and hymns, O Nicephorus; for it received thy soul at thy passing, O glorious one. Wherefore, today the holy Church, magnifying Christ the King, doth glorify Him Who alone loveth mankind.

Ode VII

Irmos: When the golden image was worshipped on the plain of Dura, Thy three youths spurned the ungodly command, and, cast into the midst of the fire, bedewed, they sang: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

By the power of God thy graveclothes were preserved incorrupt, and at the divine behest thy bones did not decompose, O blessed one, but scatter abroad the malice of the unclean spirits. And we cry aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

The people assemble with haste, and the pious emperor and a multitude of nobles, taking thy glorious shrine upon their shoulders, thou who was pleasing unto God, bear it forth like the all-holy ark, and chant: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Let the divine temple of the disciples of the Word faithfully receive the colleague of the apostles, the companion of the martyrs, the foundation of patriarchs, and one who shared the life of the Fathers, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Theotokion: Of old Moses beheld the bush which burnt unconsumed by the fire on Sinai, prefiguring thy womb, O all-pure Mother; for thou didst conceive the divine Fire and wast not consumed, but gavest birth unto the Fashioner of light: God and man.

Ode VIII

Irmos: God, Who descended into the fiery furnace for the Hebrew children and transformed the flame into dew, hymn ye as Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Thou didst reach the haven of life, passing through many three-fold waves with the sail of the Spirit, O father, and dryshod didst save the goodly freight; and now thou enjoyest tranquility there.

Seeing thy coffin placed in a new table of oblation, and thereon sacrifices being faithfully performed, while within lieth thy most sacred body, the faithful supremely exalt God and the His wonderworker.

The flock rejoiceth, and the splendid choir of monks, the pious royal household of faithful emperors, and every assemblage of the mighty hold festival at the honored translation of thy relics.

Theotokion: Having at a word seedlessly conceived in thy womb the Word Who formed all things by His word, O pure virgin Theotokos, thou gavest birth unto Him in manner past recounting. Him do we exalt supremely for all ages.

Ode IX

Irmos: O ye faithful, with hymns let us magnify in oneness of mind the Word of God, Who from God came in His ineffable wisdom to renew Adam who had grievously fallen into corruption, and Who became ineffably incarnate of the holy Virgin for our sake.

Multitudes of angels join chorus together, celebrating thy triumph and thy pangs, O father, thankfully glorifying the all-holy Lord; and they ask peace from on high for us who faithfully honor thy relics.

May the grace of thy relics be unto our infirmities like a precious remedy, O all-praised and blessed one, and may thy supplication be propitiation for all, and a path and guide to God for those who honor thee with faith and love.

Defending the faithful with the panoply of victory, O King of all, strengthen Orthodox hierarchs against heresy and preserve Thine Orthodox Church as a firm foundation for the faithful, through the supplications of the venerable one.

Theotokion: O pure and all-hymned one, we are all saved, having acquired thee as a mighty intercession, hope, rampart and anchor, and a steadfast protection, unassailable foundation, haven untouched by storm and sole refuge.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen