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After the 1st Reading from the Psalter Kathismata of the Cross.

Tone 1.

Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance, granting to faithful Christians victories over their enemies, and protecting your commonwealth by your Cross.

Verse: Exalt the Lord our God, and bow down before his footstool; for he is holy.

When you were crucified, O Christ, the tyranny of the foe was abolished and his power trampled on, for it was not an Angel or a mortal but yourself, Lord, who saved us. Glory to you!

Cross-Theotokion. The soldiers watching. ὸ ά ή.

You wounded the foe by your Cross, O Saviour; scatter their heresies like dust; exalt the horn of your honoured Church; halt the storm that rages against us, O Lord, and give peace to the multitudes of the Orthodox at the prayers of her who bore you.

After the 2nd Reading from the Psalter Kathismata of the Cross.

When the stone had been sealed. ῦ ί έ.

We worship the tree of your Cross. Lover of mankind, because you, the Life of all, were nailed upon it; you opened Paradise, O Saviour, to the Thief who approached you in faith, and he was found worthy of its delight when he confessed you: Remember me, Lord. Like him receive us too who cry: We have all sinned; in your compassion do not despise us.

Verse: God is our king from of old; he has worked salvation in the midst of the earth.

The soldiers watching. ὸ ά ή.

The weapon of the Cross was once revealed in war to the devout King Constantine as an invincible trophy against his foes through Faith. The hostile powers tremble at it; it has become the salvation of the faithful and the boast of Paul.

Glory. Both now. Cross-Theotokion. Same melody.

Seeing you dead and naked on a tree I am grievously wounded and I am shaken to the depths of my being, my Son and my God, supremely good and all-powerful, cried out the All-blameless in her distress. As Mother of the Lord let us sing her praise and glorify her.

After the 3rd Reading from the Psalter, Kathismata.
The soldiers watching. ὸ ά ή.

Willingly nailed to the Cross, O Compassionate, you made our corrupted nature divine, and put to death the dragon that destroys humankind. But buttress the world by orthodoxy and put down the uprisings of heresy by your precious Cross.

Verse: God is wonderful in his Saints, the God of Israel.

Of the Martyrs.

The glorious Champions have surrounded you, O Lord, as the boast of struggle and the pride of victory crowns; for by their courage under tortures they wounded the lawless and by divine power they received victory from heaven. At their intercessions grant us, O God, your great mercy.

Glory. Both now. Cross-Theotokion.
The soldiers watching. ὸ ά ή.

The spotless Ewe-lamb, seeing the Lamb and Shepherd on the Cross like a lamb that was slain, tore at her eyes and cried out in grief: Oh, the daring of the bloodthirsty Hebrews! Oh, your divine long-suffering, my Son! For you have suffered willingly.

Canon of the Cross, a composition of Kyr Joseph, of which the acrostic is:

The Masters holy sufferings now will I praise. Joseph.

Ode 1. Tone 1. Irmos.

To God who helped Moses in Egypt, and through him drowned Pharao and all his host, let us sing a song of victory; for he has been glorified.


You accepted to suffer for us, O Word, who by nature cannot suffer, and crucified with thieves you put to death the enemy, source of evil, and saved those who sing your praise.

Dawn of dawns, you came, Jesu, to the sunset of our rejected nature. When the sun saw you hanging there it withdrew its light.

Of the Martyrs.

Having changed death into a source of everlasting life, O Athletes, you were counted worthy of the kingdom of heaven; therefore you are glorified and called blessed.

Having imitated the sufferings of Christ, you heal by mystic surgery the passions of mortals and you drive out the spirits with a word, holy Martyrs.


As the Ewe-lamb watched Christ hanged up like a lamb, she lamented and cried out: How has your beauty faded away, O long-suffering one, my Son, who are before all eternity?

Another Canon, of the Mother of God. Same Irmos.

Storm-tossed on the ocean of troubles and by the tempest of the passions, I call upon your calm, immaculate, holy Lady. Save me, for you are a haven of the faithful.

Made pure in soul beforehand by the light of the divine Spirit, you received in your womb the whole brightness of the Father; therefore free me from gloom of error.

We magnify you, the heavenly tabernacle and holy ark, in which Christ his own house and revealed you as a mercy seat for our salvation.

You are a safe refuge, wall, protection, harbour and mighty guardian of the race of mortals in lifes troubles, all-praised Mother of God.

Ode 3. Irmos.

May my heart be established to your will, Christ God, who established the second heaven on the waters and built the earth in the waters, O All-powerful.


You spread out your palms on the Cross and covered your divine fingers in blood, Master, ransoming from a scarlet hand Adam, the work of your hands, for you alone are good and love mankind.

You were pierced in the side by a lance, Master, so setting right the fall of the side. You were once lifted up on a Tree, so leading the one who was once shipwrecked by the fruit of a tree into Paradise with the grateful Thief.

Of the Martyrs.

With pure mind let us in song sing the praise of the Martyrs of the Lord, the towers of the Church, the ramparts of true religion, the destroyers of the foe.

The Martyrs, being godlike branches of the spiritual vine, clearly bore grape clusters of courage, pouring out the wine that makes glad the hearts of all the faithful.


Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Virgin all-praised, who through the tree of his Cross made those who had been corrupted by the fruit partakers, by divine grace, of incorruption.

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

[Establish your Church, Lord, which you gained by the power of your Cross; by which your triumphed over the foe and enlightened the inhabited world.]


In the light of your Son, Sovereign Lady, scatter the murk of my faults by your intercession.

As you possess a depth of wonders and a source of healings, All-Immaculate, wipe away from my soul every stain caused by sin.

We worship your ineffable birth-giving, blessed Lady, as we call on your intercession. Implore that those who sing your praise, Pure Virgin, may be delivered from every constraint.

We have gained you, Mother of the Word, as fulfilment of hopes, divine protection and day of salvation. Make the light of repentance shine out for me.

Ode 4. Irmos.

Lord, I heard your report, and was afraid. I considered your works, said the Prophet, and I glorified you, Lover of mankind.


As a just lawgiver you were reckoned with lawless men, hanged upon a Tree, Lord and Benefactor, wishing to justify all.

The angelic Powers were amazed when they saw you lifted upon a Cross, routing with power, O Sun, the principalities of darkness.

Of the Martyrs.

The Martyrs, having drawn gifts of healings from the gifts of the Spirit, by grace put an end to the soul-destroying passions of all.

The Champions, having rejected the slumber of indifference with the watchfulness of divine faith, put to sleep the assaults of wild beasts and competed rejoicing.


Alas, my Child, how is it that I see you hanged upon the Tree, and being unjustly put to death, you who grant life? said the Virgin weeping.

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

[I considered your dispensation, Saviour, and in fear I glorified you.]

All we believers, pure Virgin, have gained your intercession as a mercy seat that cannot be put to shame.

Ineffably conceiving God the Word in your womb, you give birth to the Saviour of our race.

Having your protection, O Virgin, as an invincible wall, we are rescued from invisible foes.

Ode 5. Irmos.

Make the radiant, eternal light dawn for us, who rise at dawn for the precepts of your commandments, O Master who love mankind, Christ our God.


Lifted up on the Cross in the flesh, you called the nations who did not know you to knowledge of you, Judge of all things, alone compassionate, Christ our God.

Since you stood before the unjust judgement seat, just Lord, Adam, who was once condemned, has been justified and cries: Glory to your Crucifixion, long-suffering Lord.

Of the Martyrs.

As a Paradise planted by God you appeared, O Martyrs, having gained precious sufferings as sweet-scented flowers, with which every soul of believers is made fragrant.

We sing the praise of the Martyrs, the flourishing and fruitful trees of the faith, flowering with immortal fruit, tearing up the roots of wickedness.


When the precious rod that blossomed with a branch that never fades, saw him lifted up on the Tree, she cried out: Master, do not leave me childless.

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

May we find you, Ever-Virgin, as a mighty assistance in trials and afflictions, and a ready help in dread sins.

The ranks of Angels ever sing your praise, Mother of God, as the one who beyond nature bore the Creator of all things yet remained a Virgin.

With the spring of your healings and the streams of your wonders wash away for me the defilement caused by sin.

Conceiving in your womb, pure Mother of God, the expiation of our souls, you have given birth to salvation for those with boundless faith glorify you.

Ode 6. Irmos.

You saved the prophet from the whale, Lover of mankind; bring me up too, I beg, from the deep of offences.


You, who are beyond all price, endured dishonour, nailed to the Cross, wishing to give mortals value.

When you were struck with a reed, Christ our God, you signed forgiveness for me, enslaved to the deceiver.

Of the Martyrs.

Through the struggle of your toils, O Saints, you passed over to rest without toil, counted worthy of ineffable joy.

You were on fire with the burning coals of the love of Christ; therefore, when you experienced the fire, you remained worthy.


After childbirth, O All-blameless, you remained as before childbirth; for you bore God who saved mankind by a Tree.

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

[With Jonas, Lord, we cry to you, imploring with a voice of praise, Bring our life up from corruption.]

Heal the painful fractures of my passions with the bandage that is your intercession, Sovereign Lady, and grant me strength.

I was wholly conceived with many offences, and robbed in mind by many sins. As I flee to your protection, save me.

With unwavering faith we all implore you, All-pure Virgin, to grant us release from our failings, as you are a Mother.

As you were revealed as the chariot of the spiritual Sun, illuminate those who sleep in the night of ignorance.

Ode 7. Irmos.

The furnace, Saviour, was moist with dew, while the Young Men sang: Blessed is the God of our Fathers.


When you were crucified you shook creation, when you were slain you slew the serpent. Blessed is the God of our Fathers.

The Long-suffering is given gall to drink, becoming for me a source of saving sweetness, who by the pleasure of food was deprived of the delight of Paradise.

Of the Martyrs.

The Martyrs, when torn with hooks, put off the suffering of dying and gained a divine robe from God.

Victorious Martyrs imitating by your sufferings the pure Suffering, easily endured the torments of their foes.


The blameless Mother of God, seeing the Lord crucified, said: Alas, my Son, how are you, the life and hope of the faithful, dying?

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

[You appeared in the bush and the fire to the Lawgiver, and by it foreshadowed the Virgins child-bearing. Blessed are you, Lord, the God of our fathers.]

Knowing you to a helper in trials and safety in dangers, Sovereign Lady, with faith we cry, Blessed, O All-pure, is the fruit of your womb.

As you gave birth to the Giver of life, O Mother of God, raise me up, who have been slain by grievous sins, as I cry out, Blessed are you, God of our fathers.

Coming forth from you, God redeemed nature from the curse and cured all its pains. Blessed, All-pure, is the fruit of your womb.

Hail, joy of believers, and release from grief. Hail, mercy-seat of all who cry in faith, Blessed are you, immaculate, all-praised Mother of God.

Ode 8. Irmos.

The One who saved the Youths who sang songs of praise in the furnace, and who turned the thundering flame of the furnace to dew, Christ God, praise and highly exalt to all the ages.


When you were nailed to the Cross, O Saviour, creation was shaken, the sun veiled its rays and the rocks were rent, and Hell, O Saviour, was stripped bare, unable to endure your might.

You endured condemnation for the sake of the rejected and condemned, to hang naked on a Tree for the sake of the one who was naked, O Compassionate. Great is your might and your love for mankind!

Of the Martyrs.

The fellow citizens of the Bodiless Powers, the soldiers of Christ, having put on the Cross as a breastplate, advance against the opponent and trample him down with beautiful feet.

The noble Martyrs stood in the midst of the stadium, their limbs crushed by bars, and they unbarred the bond of error and overturned the altars of demons.


She who is higher than the heavens, when she saw Christ lifted high on a Tree and bringing down the lofty pride of the foe, sang with mighty voice the praise of him, alone most high.

Of the Mother of God. A different Irmos.

[Like the Youths in the furnace, we offer you the hymn of the Bodiless Powers, and singing in praise we say, Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.]

Appease the compassionate God and Word, O Mother of God, on behalf of those why cry in faith, Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

We who are fixed fast in a deep of offences and have your intercession as cleansing, Mother of God, cry, Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

Having you as refuge, support and protection in trouble, we all cry, Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

A mist of fearful waves troubles me, and so I hasten to the harbour of your intercession crying out, Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

Ode 9. Irmos.

You, whom Moses saw as a bush unburned, and Jacob beheld as a living ladder, a gate of heaven, through which our God alone has passed, pure Mother, in hymns we magnify you.


O how does the disobedient people hand over to a Cross the only long-suffering One, who willingly beggared himself and accepted the Passion, becoming the cause of dispassion for all those from Adam who had fallen.

You accepted the dishonour of crucifixion in the flesh, O Christ, wishing to honour mankind who had been dishonoured by irrational passions and lost its ancient beauty. Glory to your compassion beyond understanding.

Of the Martyrs.

O Christ, never-setting Sun, guide us, who rise to you at dawn and by your will have run past the darkness of punishment, to the light of your ineffable glory and radiance. Enlighten us then by the prayers of Saints.

A phalanx of sacred Martyrs defeated myriads of spiritual foes and were united to the of holy Powers, and they heal the myriads passions of our souls by an universally effective will.


By the light that dawned from you in the flesh, O Virgin, fill my soul with radiance and enlighten my heart, chasing away the darkness of sin and driving out the whole cloud of my sloth.

Of the Mother of God. Same Irmos.

As you great sympathy and a wealth of compassion, Sovereign Lady, heal the sufferings, wounds, bruises and pains of my body, that as is fitting I may glorify you.

As the one who conceived in her womb and bore beyond nature the Word of the Father and remained Virgin, O All-pure, I glorify you as with thanksgiving I cry, Hail, help of sinners.

You alone are the unerring guidance of the faithful, a saving path, leading straight to the truly heavenly Kingdom, O Immaculate, the hope of our souls.

You cultivated and nourished for us the heavenly Ear of corn, O All-blameless, and you ever intercede, save from affliction and dangers and obtain expiation of sins for all who sing your praise.

Exapostilarion. Ὁ ὐὸ ῖ ἄ.

Cross of my Christ, sceptre and victory of Sovereigns, glory of the Orthodox, guard those who worship you, that the multitudes of the unorthodox may be defeated.


The Cross is the guardian of the whole inhabited world; the Cross is the beauty of the Church; the Cross is the might of Kings; the Cross is the strength of believers, the glory of Angels and the wound of the demons.


Standing by the Cross and grieving, she who gave you birth without seed, cried out, Alas, my sweetest Child! How have you set from my sight? How have you been numbered among the dead?

Aposticha of Lauds, of the Cross. Tone 1.

We ceaselessly hymn you as Saviour and Master, who were nailed to the tree and granted us life.

Through your Cross, O Christ, there has come into being one flock of Angels and of mortals and one Church; heaven and earth rejoice. Lord, glory to you!

Of the Martyrs

Come all you peoples, let us honour with hymns and spiritual songs the Champions of Christ, the beacons of the world and the heralds of the Faith, the inexhaustible spring from which flow healings for the faithful. At their intercessions, Christ our God, grant peace to the world and to our souls your great mercy.

Glory. Both now. Cross-Theotokion.

All-praised Martyrs.

Sweetest child, you have been lifted up on the Cross like an innocent lamb, willingly slaughtered, cried the spotless Ewe-lamb with lamentation when she saw the Lord on the Tree. I burn and am wounded in heart, but I hymn your measureless mercy.

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Archimandrite Ephrem

This page was last updated on 03 November 2008