"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Saturday of the Great Fast


Matins,  Tone 3
Now the company of martyrs rejoices at thy shrine, O victorious martyr Theodore, and the ranks of angels extol thy fortitude in suffering. Christ Himself, the Giver of crowns, is present and with His own right hand He grants rich gifts of grace to those who sing thy praises. Thou hast sought and found Him whom thy heart desired, and now thou dwellest in His presence, conversing always with Him. Pray to Him, that light and salvation may be granted to our souls.

The pure and undefiled Fast has now begun, and brings us to the celebration of the martyr’s miracles. Through the Fast our souls are cleansed from filth and defilement, and through the martyr’s sufferings and miracles we are given strength to fight bravely against the passions. Illumined, therefore, by the grace of holy abstinence and by the wonders worked by Theodore the martyr, strengthened by our faith in Christ, we pray Him to bestow salvation on our souls.

Possessing, O Theodore, a martyr’s boldness before God, thou hast brought to nothing the plot devised by the apostate against the faith of Christ. Fighting as a champion in defense of God’s people, through a fearful visitation thou hast delivered them from the food defiled by sacrifice to idols. So we honour thee as destroyer of idols, as saviour and guardian of Christ’s flock, as protector ever ready to hearken to our prayers; and in our hymns of praise we ask that, through thine intercessions, forgiveness and illumination may be granted to our souls.
Vespers, Tone 8
Advancing from ungodliness to the true faith, and illumined with the light of knowledge, let us clap our hands and sing aloud, offering praise and thanksgiving to God; and with due honor let us venerate the holy ikons of Christ, of the all-pure Virgin and the saints, whether depicted on walls, on wooden panels or on holy vessels, rejecting the impious teaching of the heretics. For, as Basil says, the honour shown to the ikon passes to the prototype it represents. At the prayers of Thine undefiled Mother and of all the saints, we beseech Thee, Christ our God, to bestow upon us Thy great mercy.

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