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The 21st Day of the Month of May

Commemoration of Holy Equals of the Apostles, the Emperor Constantine & the Empress Helena

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 8 stichera: 3 from the Pentecostarion, and 5 of the saints, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Thou hast given a sign…”

Thou didst give a most mighty weapon to our emperor: Thy precious Cross, whereby he reigned on earth in righteousness, shining forth in piety, and hath been vouchsafed the kingdom of heaven by Thy loving-kindness. And with him do we glorify Thy loving dispensation, O almighty Jesus, Thou Savior of our souls. Twice

Thou didst give to thy pious favorite, O Thou Who lovest mankind, the wisdom of Solomon, the meekness of David and the Orthodoxy of the apostles, in that Thou art the King of kings and Lord of lords. Wherefore, we glorify Thy loving dispensation, O almighty Jesus, Thou Savior of our souls. Twice

Thou wast the first to subject the royal purple willingly to Christ, O ever-memorable emperor, acknowledging Him as God, the Benefactor of all Who reigneth over all, the Victor over every principality, Who transcendeth all dominion. Wherefore, O thou who lovest Christ, Jesus Who loveth mankind, the Savior of our souls, hath appointed thee as ruler.

Glory…, the composition of Byzantius, in Tone II

Receiving from God the highest of rich gifts, O most mighty and all-great Constantine, thou didst prosper well therein; for, having been illumined through baptism with the rays of the all-holy Spirit by the holy hierarch Silvester, thou wast shown to be invincible among kings, and as a gift didst give to thy Creator thine empire and the pious imperial city. Wherefore, as thou hast boldness, cease thou never to pray to Christ God, that He grant forgiveness of offenses and great mercy unto all who keep thy memory.

Now and ever…, from the Pentecostarion.

Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. Three Readings:

A Reading from the Third Book of Kings

Solomon stood up in front of the altar before all the congregation of Israel; and he spread out his hands toward heaven: and he said: “O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in heaven above and on the earth beneath. If the heaven and the heaven of heavens will not suffice Thee, how much less even this house which I have built to Thy name? Yet, O Lord God of Israel, Thou shalt look upon my petition, to hear the prayer which Thy servant doth pray to Thee in Thy presence this day, that Thine eyes may be open to this house day and night, even toward the place of which Thou didst say: ‘My name shall be there, to hear the prayer which My servant prayeth at this place day and night.’ And Thou shalt hearken unto the prayer of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, which they shall pray toward this place; and Thou shalt hear in Thy dwelling-place in heaven, and Thou shalt do and be gracious.”

A Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah [Is. 61: 10-62: 5]

Let my soul rejoice in the Lord; for He hath clothed me with the robe of salvation, and the garment of joy: He hath put a crown on me as on a bridegroom, and adorned me with ornaments as a bride. And as the earth putting forth her flowers, and as a garden its seed, so shall the Lord, even the Lord, cause righteousness to spring forth, and exultation before all nations. For Sion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as light, and My salvation burn as a torch. And the gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and kings thy glory: and one shall call thee by a new name, which the Lord shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. And thou shalt no more be called Forsaken; and thy land shall not more be called Desert: for thou shalt be called My Pleasure, and the land Inhabited: for the Lord hath taken pleasure in thee, and thy land shall be inhabited. And as a young man liveth with a virgin, so shall thy sons dwell in thee: and it shall come to pass that as a bridegroom will rejoice over a bride, so will the Lord rejoice over thee.

A Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah [Is. 60: 1-14]

Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and there shall be gross darkness on the nations: but the Lord shall appear upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And kings shall walk in thy light, and nations in thy brightness. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold thy children gathered: all thy sons have come from afar, and thy daughters shall be borne on men’s shoulders. Then shalt thou see, and fear, and be amazed in thine heart; for the wealth of the sea shall come round to thee, and of nations and peoples; and herds of camels shall come to thee, and the camels of Madiam and Gæpha shall cover thee: all from Saba shall come bearing gold, and shall bring frankincense, and they shall publish the salvation of the Lord. And all the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered, and the rams of Nabæoth shall come; and acceptable sacrifices shall be offered on My altar, and My house of prayer shall be glorified. Who are these that fly as clouds, and as doves with young ones to Me? The isles have waited for Me, and the ships of Tharsis among the first, to bring thy children from afar, and their silver and their gold with them, and that for the sake of the holy name of the Lord, and because the Holy One of Israel is glorified. And strangers shall build thy walls, and their kings shall wait upon thee: for by reason of My wrath I smote thee, and by reason of mercy I loved thee. And thy gates shall be opened continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; to bring in to thee the power of the gentiles, and their kings as captives. For the nations and the kings which will not serve thee shall perish; and those nations shall be made utterly desolate. And the glory of Lebanon shall come to thee, with the cypress, and pine, and cedar together, to glorify my holy place. And the sons of those who afflicted thee, and of those who provoked thee, shall come to thee in fear; and thou shalt be called Sion, the city of the Holy One of Israel. Because thou hast become desolate and hated, and there was no helper, therefore I will make thee a perpetual gladness, a joy of many generations. And thou shalt suck the milk of the gentiles, and shalt eat the wealth of kings: and shalt know that I am the Lord Who saveth and delivereth thee, the Holy One of Israel.

At Litya, the sticheron of the temple; and these stichera of the saints

In Tone I: As is meet, we celebrate thy memory, O Constantine, equal of the apostles, thou foundation and boast of all kings; for, illumined by the rays of the Spirit, thou didst enlighten the whole Church of Christ, gathering together assemblies of the faithful from everywhere in the city of Nicæa, where the audacity of the impious was extinguished and the tongues of the heretics grew weak and foolish, while the crown of the Orthodox was lifted high when the Faith was revealed. Hence, thou hast been glorified by thee, O most glorious one, and wast proclaimed to be the father of all kings, being the first to receive thy robe of royal purple from God. Wherefore, we who celebrate thy memory entreat thee with faith: ask thou cleansing of transgressions for our souls.

The composition of Byzantius, in Tone II: Thou didst not receive thy name from men, but, like the divine Paul, didst have it from Christ God on high, O all-glorious Constantine. For, beholding the sign of the Cross in the sky, thou wast thereby caught as goodly prey, and therein thou hast been shown to be an invincible victor over enemies visible and invisible. Wherefore, we on earth entreat thee as a fervent advocate, that in thy boldness thou ask for us enlightenment, cleansing and great mercy.

The memory of the pious Constantine hath shone forth today, poured out like myrrh; for, desiring Christ, he spurned the idols, raising up a temple on the earth to Him Who was crucified for our sake; and in the heavens he hath received the crown of hope.

In Tone III: Passing through the age of thy youth, like the godly Paul thou didst receive a divine gift from on high, and with the full armor of the Cross didst set at nought the warfare of the cruel adversary. O apostle Constantine, thou boast of kings, pray thou to the Lord in our behalf, that our souls be saved.

In Tone IV: Praise is sung to God by lips of clay on the day of thy divine memorial, O most lauded Constantine; for thou wast shown to be a most excellent warrior of the word of faith, reviling the carven faces of the idols. And now thou hast found rest in the effulgence of the Trinity, illumining our thoughts by thine entreaties.

Glory…, in Tone V

Adorned by thy might, O emperor, the Church mystically rejoiceth today, and honoreth thy most precious memory as is meet with all praise, crying aloud: Rejoice, O thou who didst emulate Paul, taking up the Cross of Christ and crushing the snares of the adversary! Rejoice, O most excellent among emperors, equal in honor to the apostles! Rejoice, thou confirmation of the faithful and mighty bulwark of kings! O blessed Constantine, thou adornment of kings, cease thou never to pray to the Lord in our behalf, in that thou hast boldness.

Now and ever…, from the Pentecostarion, or Theotokion.

At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone II, Special Melody: “When from the Tree…”

O Constantine, thou wast the first emperor among Christians to receive thy scepter from God; for the sign of salvation, which was hidden in the earth, was revealed to thee, whereby thou didst subdue all nations beneath the feet of the Romans, in that thou didst have the life-creating Cross as thine invincible weapon, O blessed one, whereby thou wast brought to our God.

Stichos: I have raised up one chosen out of My people; I have found David My servant.

Truly blessed and hallowed is the womb which bore thee, O peace-loving emperor, divinely crowned Constantine, thou joy of Christians, glory of the Romans, wealth and champion of orphans and widows, protection of the lowly, correction of those who are in confusion and sorrow, and true deliverance of captives.

Stichos: Wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness.

Wounded by desire and love for Christ, the mother of the all-sweet offspring arrived with haste in holy Sion, at the holy place wherein our Savior was voluntarily crucified for our salvation; and there, taking up the Cross, she cried out, rejoicing: “Glory to Him Who hath given me that for which I hoped!”

Glory…, in Tone VIII

The all-radiant light, the royal and never-waning star, passing from unbelief to faith in the Godhead, was led to sanctify his people and city; and, beholding the image of the Cross in the sky, he heard a voice therefrom say: “By this conquer thine enemies!” Wherefore, receiving the understanding of the Spirit as a renowned priest and king, with oil thou hast established the Church of God, O father, thou glory of Orthodox kings, whose shrine poureth forth healing. O Constantine, equal of the apostles, pray thou for our souls.

Now and ever…, from the Pentecostarion.

Troparion, in Tone VIII

Beholding the image of Thy Cross in the sky, and like Paul receiving a call not from men, Thine apostle among kings placed the imperial city in Thy hands, O Lord. Do Thou save it ever in peace, through the supplications of the Theotokos, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Troparion from the Pentecostarion.

At Matins

At “God is the Lord…”, the Troparion from the Pentecostarion, twice; Glory…, that of the saints; Now and ever…, that from the Pentecostarion, once.

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone III, Special Melody: “Of the divine Faith…”

Thou wast the image of a new David, receiving the horn of royal anointing over thy head; for with the oil of the Spirit hath the transcendent Word and Lord anointed thee, O glorious one. Wherefore, thou hast also received a royal scepter, O all-wise one, asking great mercy for us. Twice

Glory…, Now and ever…: Sessional hymn from the Pentecostarion, or this Theotokion

Thou wast the divine tabernacle of the Word, O only all-pure Virgin Mother, who hast surpassed the angels in purity. With the divine waters of thy supplications cleanse me, who am become dust, defiled by carnal transgressions, O pure one, granting me great mercy.

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, In Tone VI, Special Melody: “The angelic hosts…”

The Creator of the sun and creation, Who was wounded on the Cross, with the stars of heaven drew thee to Him like a radiant star, and invested thee as the first with royal dominion. Wherefore, we praise thee, O Constantine, thou most pious emperor, with thy divinely wise mother Helena. Twice

Glory…, Now and ever…: Sessional hymn from the Pentecostarion, or this Theotokion

Gideon prefigured thy conceiving, and David told of thy birthgiving, O Theotokos; for like the rain upon the fleece did the Word descend upon the womb, and without seed, O thou who art full of grace, didst thou put forth Christ our God, the salvation of the world, like holy ground.

Polyeleos, and this magnification

We magnify you, right faithful sovereigns Constantine and Helena, equals of the apostles, and we honor the holy memory of you who enlightened the whole world with holy baptism.

Selected Psalm verses

A The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaimeth the work of His hands. [Ps. 18: 2]

B The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord. [Ps. 88: 6]

A In the stead of thy fathers, sons are born to thee. [Ps. 44: 17]

B The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken, and He hath called the earth. [Ps. 49: 1]

A From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised. [Ps. 112: 3]

B Thy lightnings have shone forth throughout the world. [Ps. 96: 4]

A The heavens declared His righteousness. [Ps. 96: 6]

B And all the peoples saw His glory. [Ps. 96: 6]

A The princes of Judah are their rulers. [Ps. 67: 28]

B God is King over the nations. [Ps. 46: 9]

A God is glorified in the council of the saints. [Ps. 88: 8]

B Great and terrible is He toward all who are round about Him. [Ps. 88: 8]

A Say among the nations that the Lord is King. [Ps. 95: 10]

B Declare among the heathen His glory, and among all peoples His wonders. [Ps. 95: 3]

A Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth. [Ps. 18: 5]

B Their words unto the ends of the world. [Ps. 18: 5]

A He hath subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. [Ps. 46: 4]

B Great is our God, and great is His strength, and of His understanding there is no measure. [Ps. 146: 5]

A He will give power and strength unto His people. Blessed be God. [Ps. 67: 36]

Glory…, Now and ever…

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Glory to Thee, O God! Thrice

After the Polyeleos, this Sessional hymn, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “Go thou quickly before…”

Thy harmonious memorial, made manifest unto us, illumineth the ends of the earth with the light of divine knowledge, O divinely inspired Constantine; for thou hast been shown to be one pious among kings, having kept the laws of the King of heaven. Wherefore, by thy supplications deliver us from temptations. Twice

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

By thy divine birthgiving, O pure one, thou hast renewed the mortal essence of those born on earth, which hath become corrupt in the passions, and hast raised all up from death to the life of incorruption. Wherefore, we all bless thee as is meet, as thou didst foretell, O all-glorious one.

Song of Ascents, the first antiphon of Tone IV

Prokimenon, in Tone IV

I have raised up one chosen out of My people; I have found David My servant.

Stichos: Wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness.

Let every breath praise the Lord.

Reading from the Gospel according to

St. John §36 [10:9-16]

The Lord said to the Jews who came to Him: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

After Psalm 50

Glory…: Through the supplications of the divinely crowned sovereigns, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of mine iniquities.

Now and ever…: Through the supplications of the Theotokos,…

Then: Have mercy on me, O God…

And this sticheron, in Tone II

The memory of the pious Constantine hath shone forth today, poured out like myrrh; for, desiring Christ, he spurned the idols, raising up a temple on the earth to Him Who was crucified for our sake; and in the heavens he hath received the crown of hope.

Canon from the Pentecostarion, with 6 Troparia, including the irmos; and that of the saints, with 8 Troparia.

Canon of the saints, in Tone VIII

Ode I

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 Thou Who alone art King of heaven, through the entreaties of Thy favorites, free Thou my lowly soul from sin, which now reigneth within me.

As one who loved the kingdom on high, O blessed Constantine, believing with a pure mind, thou didst worship the King and Master of all.

Illumined with divine light, O divinely wise Helena, thou didst truly forsake the darkness of ignorance and didst most sincerely enslave thyself to the King of the ages.

Theotokion: O Mistress, thou portal of the divine East, open unto me the door of repentance, and by thine intercession deliver me from the gates of deadly sin.

Ode III

Irmos: O Lord, Fashioner of the vault of heaven and Creator of the Church: establish me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, confirmation of the faithful, Who alone lovest mankind.

Thou didst strive to receive heavenly rewards; wherefore, O divinely wise father, thou didst follow Him Who called thee, didst forsake the darkness of the falsehood bequeathed to thee, and becamest a luminary through the divine Spirit.

Having cleaved unto Christ and set all thy hope on Him, O most honored one, thou didst attain unto His sacred places, wherein the All-good One, having become incarnate, endured His all-pure sufferings.

Burning with divine desire, O divinely blessed one, thou didst uncover the precious Cross, the weapon of salvation, the insuperable victory, the hope of Christians, which had been hidden in malice.

Theotokion: Having fallen away from my sacred citizenship, O all-pure one, I have become like unto the beasts and am wholly condemned. O thou who gavest birth to the Judge, deliver and save me from all condemnation.

Kontakion & ikos from the Pentecostarion.

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

Having stretched forth thy senses toward heaven and acquired the beauty of the stars, thou wast taught by them the mysteries of the Lord of all; and the weapon of the Cross shone forth in their midst, signifying that in which thou shouldst conquer and achieve dominion. Wherefore, opening the eyes of thy soul, thou didst read the writing and learn the image. O most honored Constantine, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offenses unto those who celebrate thy holy memory with love. Twice

Glory…, Now and ever…: Sessional hymn from the Pentecostarion, or this Theotokion

Having conceived the Wisdom and Word in thy womb without being consumed, O Mother of God, thou gavest birth for the world to Him Who sustaineth the world, and didst bear in thine arms Him Who upholdeth all things, the Nurturer and Fashioner of creation. Wherefore, I entreat thee, O most holy Virgin, and glorify thee with faith, that I may be delivered from transgressions; and on the day of judgment, when I stand before the face of my Creator, grant me thine aid, O pure Virgin Mistress: for thou canst do all things soever thou desirest, O most hymned one.

Ode IV

Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy dispensation; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.

Christ the Lord pursued thee from heaven, as He had Paul of old, O Constantine, teaching thee to worship Him as the only King.

With an all-radiant sign of stars, O blessed one, did Christ the Sun illumine thee, showing thee to be a luminary for the benighted.

O blessed one, thou wast God-loving in nature and right wondrous in thy divine works; wherefore, we glorify thee with faith.

Theotokion: O Ever-virgin who gavest birth to the Sun of righteousness, illumine my soul, which hath been darkened by offenses.

Ode V

Irmos: Waking at dawn, we cry to Thee: Save us, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee.

Having risen at dawn unto the never-waning Sun and Master, O divinely wise emperor, thou wast filled with light.

Wearing love and perfect loving-kindness like a robe of royal purple, thou hast now made thine abode in the kingdom on high.

O Helena, thou hast joined the choirs of the incorporeal ones, having pleased God by thy virtuous works.

Theotokion: Cleanse thou my soul, which hath been defiled by carnal pleasures through the treachery of the serpent, O Virgin.

Ode VI

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!

All-gloriously didst thou assemble the divine choir of the God-bearing fathers, O Constantine, and through them didst make steadfast the storm-tossed hearts of all, that they might glorify the Word as equal in honor and equally enthroned with the One Who begat Him.

Having believed on the living Lord Who imparteth existence unto all, O Helena, thou didst spurn the abominable worship of vain idols and didst joyously receive the kingdom of heaven.

Guided by Thy hand, O Word, through Thee the sovereigns thrust aside the most profound darkness of ignorance and the tempest of cruel godlessness, and arrived, rejoicing, at the calm havens of piety.

Theotokion: Heal thou my heart, which hath grown incurably sick and hath been grievously wounded by the sting of the evil one, O Maiden, and by thine entreaties vouchsafe thy healing unto me, and save me who trust in thee, O all-pure one.

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

Today Constantine and his mother Helena reveal the Cross, the most precious Tree, which putteth to shame all the Jews and is the weapon of faithful kings against the adversary. For for our sake hath the great standard appeared, terrible in battle.

Ikos: Let us honor Constantine, and Helena his mother; for, hearing the words of David, they recognized the three parts of the Cross in the cedar, the pine and the cypress, whereby the suffering of the Savior was accomplished. And they set it before all the Jews, that they might be prepared to display before the people the great justification, hidden because of their hatred and jealousy; and, having found it, they have showed it forth. Wherefore, they have been revealed to all as victors, bearing the invincible trophy, the great standard, terrible in battle.

Ode VII

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!

Keeping Thy precepts, Constantine submitted to Thy law. Wherefore, he hath cast down hordes of the iniquitous, crying out to Thee: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God!

The Tree which hath drawn all from the pit of destruction, O right wondrous one, and which was buried out of malice, thou didst disclose unto us, burying the most pernicious demons forever.

By godly works thou didst make thy heart a temple of God, O Helena, and didst likewise build sacred churches for Him, where for our sake He endured His all-pure sufferings for our sake.

Theotokion: Committing sins by my will, and enslaved by unseemly habits, I flee now to thy wonted loving-kindness. O all-holy Mistress, save me who am in despair!

Ode VIII

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!

Arrayed in loving-kindness as in a robe and in goodly meekness as in a cloak, O glorious one, thou wast adorned with a mind perfect in the virtues as with a crown; and having been translated from earth to the kingdom on high, thou criest: Ye priests, bless; ye people, exalt Christ supremely forever!

Beholding thee rejoicing with thy divinely wise son, in the kingdom of God, O glorious Helena, we magnify Christ Who hath shown forth to us your honored festival, which more brightly than the rays of the sun doth illumine us who chant with faith: Ye people, exalt Christ supremely forever!

Wondrous is thy desire and godly thy character, O glorious Helena, thou boast of women! For having attained unto the places where the precious sufferings took place, thou didst adorn them with all-beauteous temples of the Master of all, crying: Ye people, exalt Christ supremely forever!

Theotokion: O Theotokos, enlighten the eyes of my soul, which have been blinded by many crimes; grant peace to my mind and heart, which have been vexed by multifarious pleasures, I pray, and save me who cry: Ye priests, bless; ye people, exalt the pure one supremely for all ages!

Ode IX

Irmos: Heaven was stricken with awe, and the ends of the earth were amazed, that God hath appeared in the flesh, and that thy womb became more spacious than the heavens. Wherefore, the ranks of men and angels magnify thee as the Theotokos.

The tomb wherein thy sacred and precious body doth lie, O Constantine, doth ever pour forth the radiance of divine healings upon those who ever approach it in purity, driving away the darkness of divers passions and illumining those who praise thee with never-waning light.

Having finished thy life in holiness, thou hast now made thine abode with the saints, full of sanctity and enlightenment. Wherefore, thou dost ever pour forth rivers of healings, dost burn up our sufferings, and givest drink to our souls, O blessed Helena.

O all-unoriginate and immortal King, Thou hast vouchsafed Thy heavenly kingdom to the holy Helena and the great Constantine, whom of old thou didst grant to reign piously on earth, and who loved Thee in purity, O Lord. By their supplications have pity on us all.

Theotokion: Having conceived, thou gavest birth to the King and Creator of all, O Virgin. And, lo! as a Queen thou standest forth now at His right hand. Wherefore, I beseech thee: at the hour of judgment deliver me from standing on the left side, and number me with the sheep on the right.

Exapostilarion, Special Melody: “Hearken, ye women…”

Ye have truly been shown to be luminaries who have enlightened the whole world with the faith of piety, O divinely crowned Constantine and glorious Helena; and with hymns we glorify Christ Who hath magnified you and is wondrous in His saints.

Glory…: Another exapostilarion, Special Melody: “As the disciples…”

The great Constantine and his mother did not receive royal dominion from men, but through divine grace. Illumined by heaven, he beheld the divine trophy of the Cross, and having vanquished the enemy therewith, he abolished the falsehood of idolatry and strengthened the Orthodox Faith in peace.

Now and ever…: Exapostilarion from the Pentecostarion.

On the Praises, 6 stichera: 3 from the Pentecostarion, and 3 of the saints, in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “O all-glorious wonder…”

Rejoice, O all-wise Constantine, wellspring of Orthodoxy, ever irrigating the whole world with sweet waters! Rejoice, O root from whence the fruit sprang forth which feedeth the Church of Christ! Rejoice, O all-glorious one, thou boast of the ends of the earth, first among Christian emperors! Rejoice, O joy of the faithful!

He Who ruleth over creation, perceiving the submissiveness of thy heart, rationally pursued thee who wast held fast in irrationality, O all-wise one; and, having illumined thy thoughts with the understandings of piety, He showed thee forth to the world as a radiant sun emitting beams of divine works, O all-glorious one.

Having received the teachings of the Lord like choice earth, O most lauded one, thou didst produce the goodly fruit of virtuous deeds, nourishing our thoughts by the emulation of thy citizenship, O all-wise Helena. Wherefore, observing thy memorial today, we celebrate with joy.

O Christ, with the oil of gladness Thou hast all-gloriously anointed Thine heirs, Constantine and Helena, who hated falsehood and desired Thy beauty; and Thou hast vouchsafed unto them Thy heavenly kingdom, O Word, for they were the first to reign in piety on the earth at Thy behest.

Glory…, the composition of Methodius the Patriarch, in Tone VIII

God, the King of kings, Who adorneth the worthy with rich gifts, Himself pursued thee from heaven, as He had the all-glorious Paul, O Constantine. But thee He pursued with the sign of the Cross, saying: “By this vanquish thine enemies!” And having sought Him with thy divinely wise mother, and found Him as thou didst desire, thou didst mightily put them to flight. With her, therefore, entreat thou Him Who alone loveth mankind, in behalf of Orthodox kings, the Christ-loving armies, and all who celebrate thy memory with faith, that they may be delivered from all wrath.

Now and ever…, from the Pentecostarion.

Great Doxology. Troparia. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.

At Divine Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 Troparia: 4 from the appointed ode of the canon from the Pentecostarion, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the saints.

Prokimenon, in Tone VIII

Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Stichos: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaimeth the work of His hands.

Reading from the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians §200 [1:11-19]

Brethren: I make known to you, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

But if this feast fall within the fifty days of Pentecost, we read from the Acts of the Apostles, §49 [Acts 26: 1-5, 12-20]

In those days, Agrippa said unto Paul: Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strict sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Alleluia, in Tone I

Stichos: I have raised up one chosen out of My people; I have found David My servant.

Stichos: O Lord, in Thy strength the king shall be glad, and in Thy salvation shall he rejoice exceedingly.

Gospel according to John, §35,

from the midpoint [10: 1-9]

The Lord said to the Jews that came to Him: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and go in and out, and find pasture.

Communion Verse

Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen