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The 28th Day of the Month of September

Commemoration of the Holy Passion-bearer, the Right-believing Prince Wenceslaus of Bohemia

At Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 6 stichera: 3 in Tone VIII, Special Melody: “O all-glorious wonder…”

All-splendidly adorned more than the sun with thrice radiant beams, thou hast shone forth upon those in tribulations, O all-wondrous Wenceslaus, releasing those unjustly bound and dispelling every illness from those who with faith cry out for thine aid and with love hymn thy most honored dormition. Twice

Come, all ye faithful, and let us spiritually celebrate today the all-wondrous memory of Wenceslaus, the servant of Christ; for, forsaking his corruptible earthly governance, he received the kingdom of heaven, and this day surrendered his all-holy soul into the hands of the Master, glorifying the Lord Who hath made his memory wondrous.

And 3 stichera, in the same tone, Special Melody: “The paradise in Eden…”

Led by love of the calling of the Most High, thou didst come to the Church of Christ, O all-blessed one, from which thou didst receive a royal crown which is incorrupt and passeth not away; and thou wast illumined thereby like the setting of the sun, emitting rays of miracles upon the northern lands, which hymn thine all-praised memory, O invincible and holy Wenceslaus. Twice

With the shedding of thine all-pure blood, O all-praised Wenceslaus, thou hast adorned the Church of Christ as with a robe of royal purple; and resplendent therein, it gathereth all lands into a choir to celebrate with splendor thine all-holy memory, and to cry out with faith unto the Creator of all: Glory to Thee, O Christ, Who hath made wondrous the memory of Thy saint!

Glory…, in Tone VI

Assembling today, with joyful voices let us glorify the martyred Prince Wenceslaus, wondrous in piety, the tower of strength and foundation of the Church of Bohemia, who was treacherously slain for his love of the all-holy Trinity; and, crowning him with hymns of praise, let us join chorus together, celebrating his sacred memory, and saying: O holy athlete of Christ, intercede before Him for thy much-suffering people, and for every nation that honoreth thee, that we all may be saved!

Now and ever…: The dogmatic Theotokion, in the same tone

Who doth not call thee blessed, O all-holy Virgin? Who will not hymn thine all-pure birthgiving? For the only-begotten Son Who shone forth timelessly from the Father, came forth, ineffably incarnate, from thee, the pure one; and being God by nature, He became man for our sake, not divided into two Persons, but known in two natures without confusion. Him do thou beseech, O pure and most blessed one, that our souls find mercy!

At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone IV, Special Melody: “As one valiant among the martyrs…”

Assembling, let us praise the great helper of those in misfortune, for he hath received from Christ the Savior the gift of grace: to deliver the oppressed, to console the grieving, and to heal every infirmity for those who with faith cry out for aid and with love celebrate his all-wondrous feast.

Stichos: The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.

Unto God, Who is wondrous in His saints, let us render glory and thanks for bestowing upon His holy martyr Wenceslaus the gift of healings and divers miracles; for, though reigning over an earthly kingdom, he ever fixed the gaze of his soul upon the eternal kingdom of heaven. Wherefore, we honor his sacred memory with faith and venerate his precious relics.

Stichos: They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God they shall blossom forth.

Raised in piety from infancy by thy grandmother, the holy martyr Ludmilla, thou didst grow in both wisdom and stature, and didst dedicate thyself to the Holy Church of the Lord; and when thou didst come to thy throne, thou didst multiply and increase the temples and monasteries of thy realm, and didst encourage thy subjects to forsake their heathen beliefs and ways, and to embrace the Holy Orthodox Faith, the path which leadeth to salvation.

Glory…, in Tone III

Striving to please God Who is wondrous in His saints, thou didst love the saints of God more than earthly riches and power. For when the emperor of Germany offered to grant thee whatsoever thou mightest desire, thou didst not ask for lands or castles, or for gold or jewels, O holy Wenceslaus, but didst humbly request a portion of the relics of the martyr Vitus, to serve as an ornament for the Church of Bohemia more precious than any gem. And unto God and His martyr thou didst erect in Prague a magnificent cathedral, where thine own holy remains have also found rest. Pray thou, O God-pleasing Wenceslaus, that all who venerate them and flee to thine intercession may find mercy from the Lord.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone

Through the divine Spirit, by the will of the Father, without seed thou didst conceive the Son of God Who hath existed without mother from before the ages, and for our sake thou gavest birth in the flesh unto Him Who came forth from thee without father; and thou didst nurture Him on milk as a babe. Wherefore, cease not to pray, that our souls be delivered from tribulations.

Troparion, in Tone IV

Today angels and men share a common joy. Heaven and earth join together in splendid chorus for thy memorial, O holy one. And we sinners earnestly cry aloud unto thee: Pray thou to the Master in our behalf, that from dangers and from visible and invisible foes, He may deliver us who honor thine all-honored memory.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

The mystery hidden from before the ages and unknown even to the angels, through thee, O Theotokos, hath been revealed to those on earth: God incarnate in unconfused union, Who willingly accepted the Cross for our sake and, thereby raising up the first-formed man, hath saved our souls from death.

At Matins

On “God is the Lord…”, the Troparion of the saint, twice; Glory…, Now and ever…: the resurrectional Theotokion, in the same tone.

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone I, Special Melody: “Thy tomb, O Savior…”

Grounded firmly in Orthodox piety, thou didst reign with mercy and love for thy people, uprooting from among them crimes of murder, and moving them to forsake the madness of idolatry. Wherefore, thou hast received recompense in the heavens for thy works of love and devotion on earth.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

O all-holy Virgin, thou hope of Christians, with the heavenly hosts unceasingly entreat God, to Whom thou gavest birth in manner past understanding and recounting, that He grant the remission of all sins and amendment of life unto those who ever glorify thee with faith and love.

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone V, Special Melody: “The Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit is equally without beginning…”

The malice of the enemy of the human race inspired thy jealous and ambitious brother to slay thee, O Wenceslaus. And, proffering a feigned hospitality, he invited thee to his home, and had his accursed minions fall upon thee with knives. But Christ God hath glorified thee with miracles, O wondrous martyr.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

O pure Ever-virgin, thou fervent and invincible intercessor, excellent and unashamed hope, rampart, protection and refuge of those who have recourse unto thee: with the angels entreat thy Son and God, that He grant peace, salvation and great mercy to the world.

Both canons from the Octoechos, without the martyria; and this canon of the saint, with 6 Troparia, in Tone VI

Ode I

Irmos: Traversing the deep on foot, as though it were dry land, and seeing the tyrant Pharaoh drowned, Israel cried aloud: Let us chant unto God a hymn of victory!

O ye faithful, with joy let us join chorus, hymning the Savior with radiant souls, on the all-wondrous memorial of Wenceslaus, the servant of Christ!

Slain unjustly like an innocent lamb, thou didst emulate the sufferings of the Master, O glorious one; wherefore, thou dost now rejoice with the choirs of the martyrs, O thou who art blessed of God.

Receiving a death which won thee life, thou standest now in glory before the Master of all. Pray thou that we who keep thine all-wondrous memory may also obtain it, O holy one.

Who can tell of the countless wonders which thou workest in the world, O glorious one? For thou dost continually grant healing in abundance unto all the faithful.

Theotokion: O Lady, raise me up who have fallen among thieves through my soul-destroying deeds and am drowning in death. I pray thee: Entreat thy Son and God for me.

Ode III

Irmos: There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord my God, Who hast uplifted the horn of Thy faithful and established us on the rock of the confession of Thee, O Good One.

Thou didst ever burn with Christian love for the Holy Church, O all-blessed one, where, like an innocent lamb, thou didst look forward to thine unjust slaughter.

Adorned with thine all-splendid blood, thy Church emitteth the radiant beams of miracles, hymning thy memory, O right glorious one.

Enlightened from childhood by the rays of the Trinity, O venerable one, thou becamest an heir of Christ. Him do thou entreat, that He send peace unto our souls.

Theotokion: Thy divine birthgiving surpasseth every other miracle, O pure one; for, having conceived in thy womb and given birth unto the transcendent God, thou remainest Ever-virgin.

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

Seeking to prevent thee from ascending thy throne, the enemies of the Orthodox Faith murdered thy pious grandmother, the saintly Ludmilla, that she might no longer guide thee with Christian counsel; yet so well grounded wast thou by her in reverence for things divine and in love for Christ, that her martyrdom in nowise moved thee from thy sacred purpose, and the wiles of thine enemies served only to strengthen thee in thy resolve, and to gain for the Holy Church another martyr in heaven.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

All of us, the generations of men, bless thee as the Virgin who, alone among women, gavest birth without seed to God in the flesh; for the fire of the Godhead made His abode within thee, and thou didst nurture the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Wherefore, we, the race of angels and men, cry out to thee together: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of offenses unto those who with faith worship thine all-holy birthgiving.

Ode IV

Irmos: Christ is my power, my God and my Lord, the honored Church doth sing, crying out in godly manner with a pure mind, keeping festival in the Lord.

Lovingly raised in the pure Faith from childhood, by thy pure works thou didst lovingly follow the Master and didst put His false enemy to shame by thy hope.

Shining with radiance, O holy Wenceslaus, by thy supplications enlighten those who are benighted by sins, for with the choirs of the martyrs thou hast boldness to pray for us.

Cut down by the sword, O invincible saint, thou didst cut down the wicked foe with the sword of patience; wherefore, thou hast received a crown from the hand of the Almighty.

Theotokion: Truly the mysteries of thy divine birthgiving are ineffable and unattainable for those on earth and those in heaven, O Ever-virgin Theotokos.

Ode V

Irmos: With Thy divine light illumine the souls of those who with love rise at dawn unto Thee, O Good One, that they may know Thee, O Word of God, to be the true God Who calleth all forth from the darkness of sin.

Having received through thy sufferings the life which is devoid of pain, O all-praised and holy Wenceslaus, thou hast been shown to be a help for all who suffer and with faith call upon thee for aid.

With the all-radiant beams of thy miracles thou hast enlightened the north, the south and the west more than the sun, O blessed one; wherefore, illumine us who celebrate thy memory, O saint.

Thou wast a helper of those amid misfortunes, the sustainer of the poor, and the comfort of the grieving; wherefore, even after thy death, O holy one, thou deliverest all who with faith call upon thee for help.

Theotokion: O good Mistress of the world, save those who with all their soul confess thee to be the Theotokos; for we have thee, who art truly the Theotokos, as our help, O immaculate one.

Ode VI

Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging with the tempest of temptations, fleeing to Thy calm haven I cry unto Thee: Lead up my life from corruption, O greatly Merciful One!

Having acquired a pure life through fasting, O all-wondrous Wenceslaus, thou hast been shown to be a fellow citizen with the angels. With them pray thou for the salvation of our souls.

Forsaking a transitory earthly princedom, and receiving a royal adornment from the right hand of the Master, through corruptible things thou didst acquire what is eternal, in that thou art wise.

O holy one, accept praise from the accursed lips of one who is unable to fashion worthy praises for thee, and entreat the merciful God, that He grant us great mercy.

Theotokion: O all-pure Mistress who for mortals gavest birth to the Helmsman and Lord, confound my wicked lusts, and grant serenity unto my heart.

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

Standing with the choirs of the angels, O blessed Prince Wenceslaus, thou delightest in divine and ineffable goodness; and drawing thence the goodly gifts of miracles, thou pourest forth the boon of cures upon all who with faith flee to thy holiness.

Ikos: Great is the consternation of the enemy of men’s salvation! For, seeking to destroy the Christian Faith which was planted in Bohemia by the pious Borivoy and the holy Ludmilla, he instilled within the accursed Prince Boleslaus the perfidious intention to murder his godly brother, the holy Prince Wenceslaus, and thus unjustly to usurp his throne. Yet the Savior bestowed upon His martyr so great an abundance of the grace of miracles that the people of Bohemia were amazed and hastened to be enlightened. Thus were the machinations of the devil utterly foiled, and the Holy Orthodox Church grew and throve. And even to this day the precious relics of the martyr pour forth the boon of cures upon all who with faith flee to his holiness.

Ode VII

Irmos: The Angel caused the furnace to pour forth dew upon the pious youths, and the command of God, which consumed the Chaldæans, prevailed upon the tyrant to cry out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

The ancient malefactor envied thy sacred life and incited the mindless band to slay thee; but with a pure conscience thou didst unceasingly cry out to thy Creator: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Prague, thine all-glorious city, danceth with gladness today, honoring thy memory, and, radiantly emitting thy miracles, it calleth the whole land to cry aloud: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Through the deception of the all-wicked one, of old the ground was stained by the hand of Cain, who slew his own brother; but sprinkled now with blood, it offereth sacrifices of sweet savor unto Christ, crying: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Theotokion: Through thee, O Virgin, hath Light shone forth upon those in darkness, for thou hast given birth to the Creator and God of all. Him do thou beseech, O all-pure one, that He ever send down great mercy upon us, the faithful.

Ode VIII

Irmos: From the flame didst Thou pour forth dew upon the venerable ones, and didst consume the sacrifice of the righteous one with water; for Thou, O Christ, dost do all things soever Thou desirest. Thee do we exalt supremely for all ages!

Sanctified from on high by rays of grace, O all-glorious one, thou didst shine forth more brightly than the sun in the land of Bohemia with the beauties of gladness, exalting Christ supremely forever.

Receiving thy holy body today, O blessed one, Prague, thine all-praised city, proclaimeth thine all-wondrous miracles unto the world, exalting Christ supremely forever.

Adorned with meekness and illumined with the understanding of Orthodoxy, O all-wondrous one, thou wast truly shown to be a herald of the all-holy Trinity, exalting Christ supremely forever.

Theotokion: Thou didst ineffably conceive and give birth unto the Transcendent One, the Word, the Bestower of light, Who is begotten of Light, O Virgin, for the Spirit of God made His abode within thee. Wherefore, we hymn thee, O pure one, for all ages.

Ode IX

Irmos: It is not possible for men to behold God, upon Whom the ranks of angels dare not gaze; but through thee, O most pure one, hath the Word appeared incarnate unto men; and magnifying Him with the armies of heaven, we call thee blessed.

Thou wast accounted worthy of great grace, O glorious one, and hast illumined the whole world, granting healings in abundance unto all.

Accept the joy of the angels, O holy one, and, standing before thy Creator, pray for us who magnify thee.

Thou hast now received blessed repose, O all-glorious one. Cease thou never to pray that those who magnify thee may continually share in holy blessedness.

Theotokion: O Virgin Theotokos, who after the word of the archangel gavest birth to thy Creator in manner past recounting, entreat Him, that our souls be saved.

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

From the earth thou hast approached the Master, O all-blessed Wenceslaus. Come thou now in spirit, and with thy mercy visit those who today chant thine honored celebration.

Glory…, Now and ever…: Theotokion

O Virgin who gavest birth to the hypostatic Wisdom, the transcendent Word, the Physician of souls and bodies: heal thou the cruel and long-standing infection and wounds of my soul, and ease the pangs of my heart.

On the Praises, 4 stichera, in Tone I, Special Melody: “Joy of the ranks of heaven…”

Rejoicing, thou dwellest on high, having lived on earth for thy Lord alone, and thou joinest chorus with the incorporeal hosts before His awesome throne, praising Him as the almighty King of all, and interceding for us who honor thy memory and venerate thy precious relics with faith.

Having loved the Lord thy God above all else, and thy neighbor as thyself, thou wast slaughtered by thine own brother, and hast joined thy pious grandmother in heaven, where with her thou prayest for thy native land, that all its people may find salvation in the Orthodox Faith.

Emulating our merciful Savior, Who for men’s salvation deigned to be nailed to the Cross, with thy dying breath thou didst recall the words He uttered on the Tree, saying: “Brother, may God forgive thee!” Wherefore, reigning now with Christ in His kingdom on high, thou dost ever delight in the vision of the ineffable light of His countenance.

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel! Yea, precious is their death in His sight! For, slaughtered unjustly by the swords of thy brother’s ungodly minions, thou hast won eternal life; and, well-pleased by thy virtuous life and undeserved death for His sake, the Lord hath bestowed upon thee the grace of miracles.

Glory…, in Tone VIII

O marvelous wonder! The machinations of the evil one are set at nought! For when the father of lies inspired the impious Boleslaus to murder his own brother, the godly Wenceslaus, he caused him to reign on high with the King of all, and provided for the faithful of the Church of Bohemia a heavenly intercessor and mediator, who with the holy martyr Vitus ever entreateth the Lord of hosts, that He take pity upon his people, and preserve them unshaken in the Orthodox Faith, and grant them His great mercy.

Now and ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone

O Mistress, accept the supplications of thy servants, and deliver us from all want and grief.

Great Doxology. Troparion. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.

At Divine Liturgy

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

Prokimenon, 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.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles,

§17 (Acts 6: 8-15; 7: 1-5, 47-60)

In those days, Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, who said: “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, who said: “This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Then said the high priest: “Are these things so?” And he said: “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.’ Then came he out of the land of the Chaldæans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet: “‘Heaven is my throne, and earth is My footstool: what house will ye build Me?’ saith the Lord”: or “What is the place of My rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?” Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain those who showed before of the coming of the Just One; of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice: “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge!” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Alleluia, in Tone IV

Stichos: The righteous man shall flourish like a palm-tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.

Stichos: They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God they shall ­blossom forth.

Gospel according to John, §52

(Jn. 15: 17-16: 2)

The Lord said to His disciples: “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you: The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him Who sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law: They hated Me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of Me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

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