The Week Leading Up to Sunday, September 21

Hymns of the Day

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the 6th Tone – Click here to listen to it sung

When Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world. Thou who art risen from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Apolytikion for Apodosis of the Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross in the 1st Tone
– Click here to listen to it sung

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance;

Granting to thy people victory  over all their enemies;

and by the power of Thy Cross,

preserve Thy commonwealth.

Apolytikion of Saints Peter and Paul in the 4th Tone

O foremost in the ranks of Apostles,and teachers of the world, Peter and Paul, intercede with the Master of all to grant safety to the world,and to our souls the Great Mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 4th Tone
 

Do Thou, who of thine own good will wast lifted up upon the Cross, O Christ our God, bestow thy bounties upon the new nation which is called by thy name. Make glad in thy might those who lawfully govern, that with them we may be led to victory over our adversaries, having in thine aid a weapon of peace and a trophy invincible.

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

The Reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20

BRETHREN, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Gospel Reading

Sunday after Holy Cross
The Reading is from Mark 8:34-38; 9:1

The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”


Saints and Feasts

Nikitas
Monday, September 15
Nikitas the Great Martyr

This Saint was of high birth among the Goths beyond the Danube River. He was taken by Athanaric, pagan ruler of the Goths, and after being tortured, was burned to death for his confession of Christ. According to some, this took place during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great; according to others, under the Emperor Gratian.


Euthemia
Tuesday, September 16
Euphemia the Great Martyr

Saint Euphemia was from Chalcedon and lived in virginity. According to some, she suffered martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian, in 303; according to others, in 307. Her sacred relics are preserved in the Patriarchate in Constantinople.


Sophia
Wednesday, September 17
Sophia & her three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love

These Saints were from Italy and contested for the Faith about the year 126, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. Faith was twelve years old, Hope, ten, and Love, nine; each was tormented and then beheaded, from the eldest to the youngest. Their mother Sophia mourned at their grave for three days, where she also fell asleep in peace; because of her courageous endurance in the face of her daughters’ sufferings, she is also counted a martyr. The name Sophia means “wisdom” in Greek; as for her daughters’ names, Faith, Hope, and Love (Charity), they are Pistis, Elpis, and Agape in Greek, and Vera, Nadezhda, and Lyubov in Russian.


Ariadna
Thursday, September 18
Ariadne the Martyr

3_martyrs
Friday, September 19
Trophimus, Sabbatius, & Dorymedon the Martyrs

In 278, during the reign of Probus, Saints Trophimus and Sabbatius came to Antioch, and seeing the city celebrating the festival of Apollo at Daphne lamented the blindness of the people, and presented themselves as Christians to Atticus the Governor. Saint Trophimus was stripped of his clothing, and was stretched out and beaten until the earth was red with his blood. Then he was hung up, scraped on his sides, and imprisoned in torments. Saint Sabbatius was tortured so savagely that he gave up his spirit in his sufferings. Trophimus was sent to Synnada, wearing iron shoes fitted with sharp iron nails within; he was further tormented without mercy, then cast into prison. Dorymedon, a counsellor, and a pagan, came to the prison and cared for Trophimus. When a certain feast came, Dorymedon was asked why he did not sacrifice to the idols; he proclaimed himself a Christian, for which he was imprisoned, pierced with heated spits, frightfully punished, and finally beheaded with Saint Trophimus.


Eustathi
Saturday, September 20
Eustathius the Great Martyr, his wife and two children

The holy Martyr Eustathius before his baptism was an illustrious Roman general named Placidas in the days of the Emperor Trajan. While hunting in the country one day, he was converted to the Faith of Christ through the apparition of an uncommonly majestic stag, between whose antlers he saw the Cross of Christ, and through which the Lord spoke to him with a human voice. Upon returning home, he learned that his wife Tatiana had also had a vision in which she was instructed to become a Christian. They sought out the Bishop of the Christians and were baptized, Placidas receiving the name Eustathius, and Tatiana the name Theopiste; their two sons were baptized Agapius and Theopistus. The family was then subjected to such trials as Job endured. Their servants died, all their goods were stolen, and on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem they were scattered abroad, each not even knowing if the others were still alive. By the providence of God, they were united again after many years, and returned to Rome in glory. Nevertheless, when they refused to sacrifice to the idols-a public sacrifice from which no Roman general could be absent-the Emperor Hadrian, who had succeeded Trajan, had them put into a large bronze device in the shape of a bull, which was heated with fire until they died. When their holy bodies were removed, they were found to be without harm. They suffered martyrdom about the year 126.


Exaltation
Sunday, September 21
Sunday after Holy Cross

Codratos_apostle_bishop_of_athens
Sunday, September 21
St. Quadratus the Apostle

Saint Quadratus was a disciple of the Apostles, and became Bishop of Athens. According to the Synaxaristes, he contested for the Faith in the year 117, in the reign of Hadrian (117-138), but according to others, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180).


Wisdom of the Fathers

“I force not, I compel not, but each one I make lord of his own choice; wherefore also I say, ‘If any man will.’ For to good things do I call you, not to things evil, or burdensome; not to punishment and vengeance, that I should have to compel.”
– St. John Chrysostom, Homily 55 on Matthew 16, 1. B#54, p.339., 4th Century
“The key to knowledge is the humility of Christ. The door of the Kingdom of Heaven is open, not to those who only know in their learned minds the mysteries of faith and the commandments of their Creator, but to those who have progressed far enough to live by them.”
– St. Bede the Venerable, 8th century
“To deny oneself means to give up one’s bad habits; to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad thoughts and desires; to suppress every evil thought; to avoid occasions of sin; not to desire or to do anything out of self-love, but to do everything out of love for God. To deny oneself, according to St. Paul means ‘to be dead to sin. . . but alive to God.'”
– St. Innocent of Alaska (The Lenten Spring, SVS Press, p. 147), 19th Century
Interior crosses can found at all times, and more easily than exterior ones. You have only to direct your attention to yourself and examine yourself with a sense of repentance, and a thousand interior crosses will at once present themselves to you. . . Interior crosses are sometimes so burdensome that the sufferer can find no consolation whatever in anything. All this can happen to you too! But in whatever position you may be, and whatever sufferings of the soul you may feel, do not despair and do not think that the Lord has abandoned you. NO! God will always be with you and will invisibly strengthen you even when it seems to you that you are on the very brink of perdition.
– op. cit.
“Nothing comes without effort. The help of God is always ready and always near, but is given only to those who seek and work, and only to those seekers who, after putting all their powers to the test, then cry out with their whole heart: ‘Lord, help us.'”
– St. Theophan the Recluse, 19th Century
“If you would be victorious, taste the suffering of Christ in your person, that you may be chosen to taste His glory. For if we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified with Him. Blessed are you if you suffer for righteousness’ sake. Behold, for years and generations the way of God has been made smooth through the Cross and by death. The way of God is a daily Cross. The Cross is the gate of mysteries.”
– St. Isaac the Syrian, quoted in The Orthodox Way: Revised Edition, SVS Press, p. 129
Advertisements