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The 24th Day of the Month of May

Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried …”, 6 Stichera, in Tone VIII:

Special Melody: “O most glorious wonder …”:

Like an inscribed pillar, O Symeon / by visions and thine activity, / thou didst give birth in thy soul, / to the fullness of the virtues; / and having vanquished the uprisings of the flesh / and arrayed thyself in life-bearing mortality, O venerable one; / thou didst become a luminary ever shining forth, / enlightening with grace // all the ends of the earth. Twice

Taking wing with divine desire, / while yet bearing the flesh / and clad in dust, / thou didst manifestly become a dweller with the angels, / having forsaken earthly things / and ascended to the heavenly, O father, / ever mounting to God / on thy lofty pillar, // and shining forth in thine ascents. Twice

Having broken down the flesh by abstinence, O Symeon, / thou didst show forth thy soul / as a receptacle of the Spirit, / mounting on high / and drawing nigh unto God; / and by His power thou wast deemed worthy / to work miracles transcending nature. / Wherefore, thy most divine activity // hath surpassed all understanding and thought. Twice

Glory…, in Tone VI:

O right wondrous father, thou hast been shown to be a goodly offspring of the desert and our ally; for therein thou didst find thy desire, the heights of heaven, and wast deemed worthy of the grace of healing from the treasuries of the Spirit which cannot be stolen. Wherefore, Christ hath enriched thee with both, and shown thee to be a worker of wonders. O venerable Symeon, pray thou that our souls be saved.

Now and ever…, Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion:

Special Melody: “On the third day …”:

Stavrotheotokion: Upon beholding our Life suspended upon the Tree, / the all-immaculate Theotokos cried aloud, / maternally lamenting: // O my Son and my God, save those who with love hymn Thee!

On the Aposticha, the Stichera of the day, and Glory…, the composition of Germanus, in Tone II:

Having ascended the lofty wondrous mountain and entered into the impenetrable as an honored tabernacle, through excellent activity thou didst show forth the ascent of vision. Wherefore, having illumined thy life, adorned with iron chains as with golden coins, beholding God and being seen by Him, and conversing in solitude with Him alone, entreat Him, O honored Symeon, on behalf of our souls.

Now and ever…, Theotokion, or this Stavrotheotokion in Tone II:

Special Melody: “When from the Tree …”:

Stavrotheotokion: The Ember which the glorious Isaiah foresaw of old: / hath become incarnate of the Mother / who knew not a man, / springing forth at the behest of the Father, / and having been born, was slain of His own will, / taking away the transgressions of the world, / like an unblemished Lamb. / Wherefore, the ewe-lamb and Virgin, beholding Him upon the Cross, // was pierced with the sword of grief.

Troparion, in Tone I:

A desert dweller, an angel in the flesh and a wonder-worker / wast thou revealed to be, O our God-bearing father Symeon. / Receiving heavenly gifts through fasting, vigils and prayers, / thou healest the infirm and the souls of those who with faith have recourse unto thee. / Glory to Him Who hath given thee strength! / Glory to Him Who hath crowned thee! // Glory to Him Who through thee worketh healings for all!

At Matins

Canon of the venerable one, with 6 Troparia, the acrostic whereof is “I hymn thy grace, O wondrous Symeon”, in Tone VIII:

Ode I

Irmos: The wonderworking staff of Moses, / striking and dividing the sea in the figure of a cross, / once drowned Pharaoh the pursuing charioteer, / while it saved the fleeing people of Israel / as they fled on foot, / chanting a hymn unto God.

O most wondrous father Symeon, thy memory is truly a cause of theology and en-lightenment for all who have assembled to hymn the majesty of thy right wondrous life with pure hearts.

Announcement was made to thy glorious mother by the voice and vision of the Baptist, O all-blessed father, that she would conceive and give birth to thee, the fragrant and divine habitation of the Trinity in three Hypostases.

The great forerunner, knowing beforehand that from earliest infancy thou wouldst be the bearer of divine gifts of righteousness transcending nature, O father, commanded thee to turn away from thy mother’s left breast, and to cleave unto her right one.

Receiving a pure life from the beginning as a gift of the Spirit, through the laver of regeneration, O father who art most noetically rich, from infancy thou didst show forth in a divine manner a majesty of soul more radiant than the sun.

Theotokion: Most glorious things have been spoken concerning thee from generations of generations, O thou who didst bear God the Word within thy womb, yet remained pure, O Mary Theotokos; wherefore after God, we all honor thee as our help.

Ode III

Irmos: O Lord, Creator of the vault of Heaven / and Builder of the Church, / do Thou strengthen me in Thy love, O Summit of desire, / O Support of the faithful, / O only Lover of mankind.

From earliest infancy thou didst grow to be an excellent ascetic and an ardent lover of divine beauty; wherefore, the Master, foreknowing thee from thy mother’s womb, sanctified thee, O most glorious father Symeon.

Growing in wisdom from childhood with true understanding, O venerable father and wonderworker, thou wast thyself deemed worthy to behold the unapproachable Spirit, surrounded by the heavenly hosts.

Having illumined the senses of thy soul with awesome vision, O venerable father Symeon, thou didst acquire a wondrous understanding of that which is good, and didst show forth a blameless life to those who did not possess one.

The angel who was sent to thee manifestly stood before thee, O God-bearing father, imparting to thee an angelic life, and touching the feet of him who appeared to thee, thou didst kiss them with joy.

Theotokion: Having made Thine abode within the Virgin, O Lord, Thou didst appear unto mankind, in that it was proper that we behold Thee; and thereby show her to be the true Theotokos and helper of the faithful, O Thou only Lover of mankind.

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

Sanctified before thou wast conceived, O father, thou wast given to thy mother as an all-comely offspring who wouldst become the vessel of the divine Spirit; and growing in His power, thou didst wound a multitude of evil spirits with the staff of faith. Wherefore, having departed with glory, thou hast become an immovable pillar of the faithful and a radiant luminary. O right wondrous Symeon, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honor thy holy memory with love. Twice

Glory…, Now and ever…, Sessional Hymn of the Pentecostarion, or this Theotokion:

From the snares of enemies visible and invisible, / we have been overcome by the storms of our uncountable sins, / and fleeing unto the safe harbor of thy goodness O pure one, / we have thee as our rampart and sure protection. / Wherefore we thy servants beseech thee / to ceaselessly make fervent supplication, O most pure one, / unto Him who seedlessly became incarnate from thee, / that those who worthily hymn thee // may be granted the remission of their sins.

Stavrotheotokion: Upon beholding the Lamb, Shepherd and Redeemer / upon the Cross, / the ewe-lamb exclaimed weeping, bitterly lamenting, and crying aloud: / “The world rejoiceth, having received deliverance through Thee, / but my womb doth burn, beholding Thy crucifixion, / which Thou hast endured in Thy merciful loving-kindness. / O long-suffering Lord, / Thou abyss and inexhaustible well-spring of mercy, / take pity, and grant forgiveness of sins // unto those who hymn Thy divine sufferings with faith!”

Ode IV

Irmos: Thou, O Lord, art my strength and Thou art my power, / Thou art my God and Thou art my joy, / Thou Who, while never leaving the bosom of Thy Father, / hast visited our poverty. / Therefore with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee, / ‘Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!’

Thou couldst in no wise bear to remain in the world, O father, having the power of the Spirit of God guiding thee, and dwelling in the impassable wastes of the desert while yet a youth, walking fearlessly among the wild beasts, thou didst rejoice in thy bodily pangs.

Leaping among the mountains, O father Symeon, like a deer thou didst desire the divinely flowing well-springs; and having found them, thou didst satisfy thy thirst for divine love, drinking thy fill of the theology which floweth therefrom; pouring it forth, thou dost ever gaze upon the face of Christ.

Borne up as upon a chariot, thou didst behold with thy spiritual eyes, Him Who clothed thee in light, O venerable father; and guided by the pillar of light of the Divine Child, with John standing at His footstool, thou didst make thine ascent unto Him.

Guided to divine power by the grace given thee, O glorious one, thou didst journey to the dwelling of the divinely wise John; and lovingly waging noetic battle along with him, through ascetic endeavor thou wast revealed to be like an angel.

Theotokion: Thou art the boast of the faithful, O Bride of God; thou art the intercessor and refuge of Christians, their bulwark and haven; for thou bearest entreaties to thy Son, O all-immaculate one, saving from misfortunes, those afflicted, and who with faith and love honor thee.

Ode V

Irmos: O Light never-waning, / why hast Thou turned Thy face from me / and why hath the alien darkness surrounded me, / wretched though I be? / But do Thou guide my steps I implore Thee / and turn me back towards the light of Thy commandments.

The Lord manifestly stood before thee as a magnificent Child full of beauty, O father, at the base of the pillar on which thou didst stand, shining forth with the glory of patience, showing Himself as one crucified, as thou didst ask.

Thy whole life shone forth with the radiance of revelations, and being filled thereby with the myrrh of divine fragrance, O favorite of Christ, as an ascetic thou didst cut down the hordes of the adverse foe.

Thou wast elevated by divine visions and purity of mind, O all-blessed one, and having a heart pouring forth torrents like a well-spring of life-bearing wisdom, thou didst enlighten the souls of the sick with doctrines from God.

Theotokion: Possessing maternal boldness toward thy Son, O most pure one, fail not to take thought for us, thy kinsmen, we pray, that we may set thee forth alone before the Master as our merciful cleansing.

Ode VI

Irmos: I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, / and to Him will I proclaim my grief; / for my soul is filled with evils, / and my life unto Hades hath drawn nigh, / and like Jonah I pray unto Thee: / Raise me up from corruption, O God.

Great in the virtues like the wondrous Moses, O father, thou didst ascend thy lofty pillar at the behest of God, and wast caught up by the Spirit, receiving the power of enlightenment, as he was glorified.

Savagely aiming, O God-bearer, the enemy emptied his quiver of soul-destroying arrows, yet in nowise was he able to shake the pillar of thy soul; for thou wast founded firmly upon the unbreakable rock of Christ.

While thou wast enduring the exertion of asceticism, O wondrous father, Christ the Master, appearing to thee, entrusted a staff of might unto thee, and He commanded thee to heal the afflictions of the infirm therewith.

Theotokion: O Mary, thou dwelling-place of the Master, radiantly resplendent like a lily in the brilliant beams of virginity, I beseech thee, O good one: Grant me forgiveness of mine offenses.

Kontakion, in Tone II, Special Melody: “Seeking the highest …”:

Desiring the highest and putting away things here below, / thou didst fashion a pillar like unto heaven. / Thereby shining forth with the radiance of miracles, / O venerable one, // unceasingly praying to Christ, the God of all, on behalf of us all.

Ikos: The most radiant memory of the blessed one hath been revealed to us as another day of salvation, driving away the profound night of the passions with the brilliance of asceticism and illumining it with most excellent deeds. Showing ourselves to be like stars, O ye faithful, let us all radiantly offer hymns in gladness to Symeon the luminary; for looking down from on high, he doth enlighten us and granteth us ineffable peace, unceasingly entreating Christ God on behalf of us all.

Ode VII

Irmos: Having quenched the all-consuming power of the Chaldean furnace / with the form of the Angel, that had descended therein, / the children cried out to the Creator: / Blessed and praised art Thou, O God of our fathers!

As a youth, O God-bearer, fleeing the understandings of the false world and falls into vain glory, thou didst love to live in silence, crying out unceasingly in the Spirit: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Stretching forth thine arms in the form of the Cross, and making supplication, O God-bearer, with thine eyes thou didst manifestly behold Christ in glory with the angels, Who commanded thee to go forth unto the Wondrous Mountain.

Going forth with heaven-traversing intent, O father, thou didst mount unto the pillar that was thereon, and having first submitted to the divine precepts of the Master, thou didst attain unto that mountain which thou thyself didst wondrously call Wondrous.

Finding its lofty summit to be like the heavenly garden of paradise planted with all manner of fragrant blossoms, thou didst make thine abode thereon; and thus miraculously plant thy dwelling-place thereon, following the instructions of God.

Theotokion: O ye who walk in the light of the Lord, come, let us hymn the divine city of the King of kings, the most pure Mary, the true Theotokos, for she is the hope of our souls.

Ode VIII

Irmos: In his wrath the Chaldean Tyrant made the furnace blaze, / with heat fanned sevenfold for the servants of God; / but when he perceived that they had been saved by a greater power / he cried aloud to the Creator and Redeemer; / ‘ye children bless, ye priests praise, / ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages’.

Through the godly powers of thy soul, O venerable one, thou didst immerse thyself in the effulgence of the Thrice-holy One; and, taught by Him, the one Godhead, thou didst gloriously erect a thrice-rich temple to Him before thy pillar, and teach all to worship the uncreated Trinity therein throughout all ages.

The omnipotent activity of the Holy Spirit which dwelt within thee in godly manner, O divinely eloquent one, moved those who were afflicted by evil spirits to hasten to thee from all the ends of the earth, and healing them with thy palm-staff, thou teachest all to hymn the Creator throughout all ages.

Thou didst subject the carnal understanding of thy youth through fasting and prayer to the Spirit, O father, and having extinguished the burning of thy loins, thou didst destroy it, and didst show thyself as one who superhumanly refrained from eating, deriving sustenance solely from the food of heaven. And thou dost hymn the Creator thereof throughout all ages.

Christ the Lord entrusted to thee the divine chorus of thy disciples, O wondrous father; and accepting them with love, thou didst illumine them with teachings, that they might continue to run the race of asceticism. And reposing with them in the kingdom, thou dost glorify the King of all throughout all ages.

Theotokion: Entreat thy Son and Lord on behalf of us who-truly cry out to thee in purity and confess thee to be the Mother of God, O pure one, asking forgiveness of sins, and that they may receive salvation who chant with faith: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Ode IX

Irmos: Every ear is awestruck at hearing of God’s ineffable condescension, / for the Most High voluntarily descended and assumed flesh, / becoming man in the Virgin’s womb; / wherefore we the faithful magnify the most pure Theotokos.

Emulating Christ, Who fed a vast multitude of men with a few loaves of bread, O thrice-blessed Symeon, by thy supplications and blessings thou didst fill the empty granaries of thy fold, delivering thy flock from starvation.

By the words of Martha, thine honored and venerable mother, O all-blessed one, beseeching thee with entreaty to supplicate Christ, thou didst not refuse to fulfill her petitions, delivering the city of God from divine wrath.

Seeing the end of thy struggles, the most ineffable deification in the highest, O all-blessed Symeon, having departed from the body, thou didst soar aloft thereto, rejoicing in the Spirit, beholding there the effulgence of the Tri-hypostatic Unity.

O father Symeon, by thy care, thought and prayers, free from the passions of every enemy, those who hasten to thee with supplications from this much tumultuous life, and preserve in splendor those who celebrate thy memory.

Theotokion: Save me, O Mother of God who hast given birth to Christ my Savior - God and man in two natures, but not in two hypostases, - the only-begotten of the Father, Who through thee became the Firstborn of all creation. Wherefore, we all magnify thee for ever.

Exapostilarion, Special Melody: “O Immutable One …”:

Shining forth from the desert, thou dost illumine the whole world, and the multitudes of monks rejoice in thy memory. O God-bearing Symeon, cease thou never to pray for the world.

Aposticha from the Oktoechos, and Glory…, in Tone VI:

O venerable father Symeon, the sound of thy corrections hath gone forth into all the earth; wherefore, thou hast found the reward of thy labors in the heavens, hast destroyed hordes of demons, and 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 in Tone VI:

Stavrotheotokion: Standing with the virginal disciple before the Tree / during the crucifixion, / the Virgin cried out, weeping: / “Woe is me! / How is it that Thou dost suffer, O Christ, // since Thou art the dispassion of all?”

At Divine Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 Troparia: 4 from the appointed ODE from the Pentecostarion, and 4 from ODE III of the canon of the venerable one.

From earliest infancy thou didst grow to be an excellent ascetic and an ardent lover of divine beauty; wherefore, the Master, foreknowing thee from thy mother’s womb, sanctified thee, O most glorious father Symeon.

Growing in wisdom from childhood with true understanding, O venerable father and wonderworker, thou wast thyself deemed worthy to behold the unapproachable Spirit Who is surrounded by the heavenly hosts.

Having illumined the senses of thy soul with awesome vision, O venerable father Symeon, thou didst acquire a wondrous understanding of that which is good, and didst show forth a blameless life to those who did not possess one.

Theotokion: Having made Thine abode within the Virgin, O Lord, Thou didst appear unto men, in that it was fitting that they behold Thee; and Thou didst show her to be the true Theotokos and helper of the faithful, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind.

Troparion, in Tone I:

A desert dweller, an angel in the flesh and a wonder-worker / wast thou revealed to be, O our God-bearing father Symeon. / Receiving heavenly gifts through fasting, vigils and prayers, / thou healest the infirm and the souls of those who with faith have recourse unto thee. / Glory to Him Who hath given thee strength! / Glory to Him Who hath crowned thee! // Glory to Him Who through thee worketh healings for all!

Kontakion, in Tone II:

Desiring the highest and putting away things here below, / thou didst fashion a pillar like unto heaven. / Thereby shining forth with the radiance of miracles, / O venerable one, // unceasingly praying to Christ, the God of all, on behalf of us all.

Prokeimenon, in Tone VII:

The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, / and shall hope in Him.

Stichos: Hearken, O God, unto my prayer, when I make supplication unto Thee.

EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS, §258 (COL 3:12-16)

Brethren: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Alleluia, in Tone VI:

Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.

Stichos: His seed shall be mighty upon the earth.

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW, §43 (MT. 11: 27-30)

The Lord said to His disciples: all things are delivered unto Me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Communion Verse:

In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.

The Menaion of the Orthodox Church © Isaac E. Lambertsen