Mid-Pentecost. The Holy Cyril (869) and Methodius (885), Teachers of the Slavs and Equals-to-the-Apostles and the Dedication of the City of Constantinople (330); the Holy Priest-Martyr Mocius (284-305); Passing into Eternal Life of Blessed Vasyl (Basil) Hopko, Auxiliary Bishop of Presvov (+1976) Polyeleos Feast. Acts 14:6-18; John 7:14-30

GREAT VESPERS

At Psalm 140, In Tone 4

  1. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

The mid-point of the feast has arrived;* the days which begin with the resurrection of the Saviour* and are fulfilled in the divine feast of Pentecost.* Truly it unites both Feasts and draws light from their double brightness,* giving honour to the ascension of the Lord,* which prefigures our glory.

  1. Let Your ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

Truly Sion heard and was glad* when it received the glad tidings of the resurrection of Christ.* Faithful children also rejoiced at beholding it.* Seeing the blood of Christ washed away by the Holy Spirit,* the Church prepares to worthily celebrate* the joyous midpoint of these two holy feasts.

  1. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

The over-abundant outpouring of the divine Spirit over all is drawing near,* as it is written by the prophet Joel.* The promise of Christ, given to His disciples* after His death, burial and resurrection,* proclaims the coming of the Comforter.

In Tone 5

  1. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

Today the feast of mid-Pentecost appears in it grace and brightness,* and as the noon hour divides the day,* so this feast stands at the middle of the paschal season.* It radiates the light of the resurrection of Christ* and reflects the signs of eternal life.* It discloses the ascension into heaven,* and it foretells the coming of the most beloved Spirit,* the glorious feast of Pentecost.* And so it bestows upon our souls peace and great mercy.

In Tone 2

  1. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

With what crowns of praise shall we adorn the divinely-wise teachers,* the voices of wisdom sounding amid clouds of darkness,* enlightening those in the shadow of death with the light of the Gospel!* The great preachers of the undivided Trinity who grafted barren unbelievers* as branches into the fruitful tree of the orthodox Church* that they might obtain from Christ our God peace and great mercy.

  1. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

With what songs of praise shall we glorify the divinely-wise teachers:* the golden-mouthed Cyril* who reached the heights of wisdom through his sweet preaching,* humbling the fierce pride of Islam!* And Methodius, the lover of solitude,* who in silence received the fruits of the Spirit.* Through their prayers, Christ our God, grant us great mercy.

  1. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

With what hymns of praise shall we magnify the divinely-wise teachers:* Cyril, who chose to live with wisdom in his youth.* He multiplied his talents to the glory of God;* and Methodius who renounced the things of this world for love of Christ.* He strove like an angel for the kingdom of heaven.* Through them, we have come to know God,* the eternal Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,* receiving from Christ our God great mercy!

  1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

With what spiritual songs shall we magnify you, most blessed teachers?* For the sake of the salvation of the Slavs you became equals to the apostles.* You laboured to enlighten them by the lamp of the Word of God,* opening for them the door of the written Word.* As we enter, we understand the blessed teaching of Christ,* receiving from Him peace and great mercy.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Come, lovers of feasts!* Let us glorify the apostolic labourers with songs of praise:* the pride of hierarchs, the enlighteners and fervent intercessors for the Slavic people!* Rejoice, Cyril, golden herald of the Word of God,* lighting up the mysteries of the Holy Trinity as the sun,* closing the blaspheming mouths of Islam!* Again, rejoice, Methodius!* You assisted him with prayers and miracles.* Most blessed fathers, never cease to intercede before Christ our God* for those who praise you with faith and love!

Now…

The mid-week of the festal season has arrived, O Christ,* the midpoint of Your resurrection and the coming of Your Holy Spirit.* Coming together, we glorify the mystery of Your miracles;* and filled with fear, we cry out to You:* Send down upon us Your great mercy!

Readings

(1) Micah 4:2, 3; 6:1-5, 8; (2) Isaiah 55:1-13; (3) Proverbs 9:1-11, (1) Deuteronomy 1:8-17; (2) Deuteronomy 10:14-21; (3) Wisdom 3:1-9

Aposticha

In Tone 1

The middle of the fifty days is here,* wherein Christ manifested His divine power.* He healed the paralytic, raising him from his bed by a word.* In the flesh He worked signs and wonders,* granting His people eternal life and great mercy.

Remember Your people whom You chose long ago.

You came to the temple, O Wisdom of God, in the midst of the feast,* to teach and edify the Jews, the scribes and the Pharisees:* Let all who thirst come to Me and drink the water of life.* They will never thirst again.* Whoever believes in Me, streams of living water shall flow from them.* How great is Your goodness and Your compassion.* Glory to You, O Christ our God!

God is our King from time past, the Giver of help throughout all the land.

Jesus went up to the temple in the middle of the feast.* He proclaimed to the stiff-necked people:* Let all who thirst come to me and drink.* I will give them the water of life, and they will never thirst again.* Living streams will flow from the hearts of those who believe in Me.* They will find the Light of the world.

In Tone 8, Glory…

Rejoice, blessed ones who enlightened us with the knowledge of God!* Rejoice, Cyril, living source of spiritual wisdom:* you quenched the thirst of the Slavic people!* Rejoice, Methodius, pure dwelling of prayer:* now you stand in the glory of Christ.* Therefore never cease to pray that we may glorify Him* as we magnify you throughout the ages!

Now…

While You taught the scribes in the midst of the feast, O Saviour,* they murmured: How can this man who never studied be learned?* They would not believe that You are the Wisdom who created the world.* O Lord, glory to You!

Troparion

In Tone 4

As equals to the apostles in the way you lived* and teachers of the Slavic lands,* O Cyril and Methodius, divinely wise,* intercede with the Master of all* to confirm the Slavic nations in orthodoxy and oneness of mind;* to grant peace to the world and save our souls.

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

At the mid-point of the Feast, O Saviour,* water my thirsty soul with streams of true godliness;* for You cried out to all: Let any who thirst, come to Me and drink.* Source of life, Christ our God, glory to You!

 

 


DIVINE LITURGY

After the priest has exclaimed, Blessed be the Kingdom… and the people have responded, Amen, the clergy sing the Paschal Troparion once and the people repeat it. Then, the clergy sing the first half, and the people conclude it.

Paschal Troparion

Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life.

Troparia and Kontakia

Troparion, Tone 8: At the mid-point of the Feast, O Saviour,* water my thirsty soul with streams of true godliness;* for You cried out to all: Let any who thirst, come to Me and drink.* O Source of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!

Troparion, Tone 4: As equals to the apostles in the way you lived* and teachers of the Slavic lands,* O Cyril and Methodius, divinely wise,* intercede with the Master of all* to confirm the Slavic nations in orthodoxy and oneness of mind;* to grant peace to the world and save our souls.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

Kontakion, Tone 3: Let us extol our two sacred teachers.* By their translation of Scriptures* they tapped for us a well that brings knowledge of God.* Drawing from it abundantly to this very day* we call you blessed, O Cyril and Methodius.* As you stand before the throne on high,* fervently pray to God to save our souls.

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 4: At the mid-point of the Feast according to the Law,* Maker of all things and Master,* You said to those present, O Christ God:* Come, and draw the water of immortality.* And so we fall before You crying out with faith: Grant us Your mercies , for You are the source of our life.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Great is our Lord, and great is His strength;* and of His knowledge there is no end.
verse: Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good; may praise be sweet to Him. (Psalm 146:5,1)

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His venerable ones. (Psalm 115:15)4641

Epistle: Acts 14:6-18 (NRSV); Hebrews 7:26-8:2
In those days,
Paul and Barnabus fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they continued proclaiming the good news.
In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And the man sprang up and began to walk. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice. When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.
Brothers and Sisters, it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up.

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: Remember Your congregation which You acquired from the beginning.
verse: But God is our king before the ages; He has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. (Psalm 73:2,12)
verse: Your priests shall clothe themselves with justice, and Your venerable ones shall rejoice. (Psalm 131:9)

Gospel: John 7:14-30 (NRSV) John 10:9-16
About the middle of the festival of Pentecost
Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. The Jews were astonished at it, saying, “How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?” Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.
“Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?” The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?” Jesus answered them, “I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
The Lord said to the Jews who came to him: “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

Hymn to the Mother of God

Virginity is alien to mothers and child-bearing is foreign to virgins; yet in you, O Mother of God, both of them came together. Therefore, we and all the nations of the earth without ceasing magnify you.

Communion Hymn
Those who eat My flesh and drink My blood* abide in Me and I in them, says the Lord.* The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (John 6:56)

Instead of “Blessed is He Who comes…” and “We have seen the true light…” we sing:

Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life.

Instead of “May our mouths be filled…” we sing three times:

Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life. (3)

Instead of “Blessed be the name of the Lord…” we sing three times:

Christ is risen from the dead,* trampling death by death,* and to those in the tombs* giving life. (3)

After the final “Amen”, the Troparion “Christ is risen” is sung as at the beginning of the Liturgy, but with the addition:

And to us He has granted life eternal;* we bow down before His resurrection on the third day.