Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth & Jarrow

Month of January


Afterfeast of Holy Theophany

Commemoration of the Holy Martyr Tatiana of Rome

Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth & Jarrow

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At Lord, I have cried, 6 stichera: 3 of the martyr Tatiana (see in the Menaion); and 3 of the venerable one, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: O all-glorious wonder

O all-glorious wonder! As the Lord and His apostles travelled to Holy Sion to worship in the temple of the Lord, so did Benedict journey often unto Rome, to bow down before the shrines of the apostles and to worship at the tombs of the martyrs. Wherefore, receiving grace through their prayers, he sojourneth now in paradise, where with the apostles he joineth chorus before the throne of God.

O all-glorious wonder! He who wast devoted to the tombs of the preëminent apostles at Rome, was in Canterbury placed over the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul; and on returning to the land of his birth, founded the monastery at Wearmouth for Saint Peter, and that at Jarrow on the River Tyne for Saint Paul. O the divine favour of the holy apostles, which they extended to their servant, who now joineth chorus with them before the supernal throne of God.

O all-glorious wonder! Where before men fashioned rude temples of wood and earth, the blessed Benedict constructed churches of quarried and fitted stones, to serve the better for the glory of the Almighty; and he filled them with sacred icons, as witnesses to the incarnation of Christ the Word, and taught monastics to sing melodiously therein the high praises of the King of hosts, the Creator and Maker of all things.

Glory of the veneraable one: Idiomelon, in Tone V

Today heaven and earth exult together, O namesake of blessing: the ranks of angels join chorus on high, and in the heavens the Church Triumphant is filled with splendour, having in its midst thy radiant spirit; and here below the Church Militant, the assembly of the Orthodox, holdeth festival with all due splendour, cherishing thy memory as a priceless treasure, as riches which cannot be taken away, adorning itself with the grace which ever abideth in thee, and unceasingly crying aloud with faith: O venerable father Benedict, entreat Christ the Saviour on behalf of our souls!

Now & ever: Doxasticon of the feast, in the same tone (see in the Menaion).

Aposticha stichera of the feast (see in the Menaion); and Glory of the venerable one: Idiomelon, in Tone VI

Who can describe thy love for thy neighbour, O most holy Benedict? For it is not only in life that by thy words and deeds thou didst guide to the heavenly fold the flock entrusted to thee by God; but from the time of thy repose thou ever leadest us beside the still waters of grace, and dost nurture us on the meadows of Orthodox teachings, and by thy mighty intercessions repellest the assaults of the soul-destroying wolves, restoring us safely to the embrace of Christ, the Chief Shepherd Who loveth mankind.

Now & ever: Doxasticon of the feast, in the same tone (see in the Menaion).

Troparion of the martyr (see in the Menaion); Glory, that of the venerable one, in Tone V

O ye faithful, let us magnify the blessed Benedict, the treasury of the wisdom of God, the image of humility and compunction; for, in accordance with his name, he ever filleth our hearts with bliss divine, as a true follower of Christ and minister of His Mysteries.

Now & ever: Troparion of the feast.

At Matins

At God is the Lord, troparion of the feast, once; that of the martyr; Glory, that of the venerable one; Now & ever, that of the feast, once.

After the kathismata, the sessional hymns of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Canon I of the feast, the composition of Cosmas of Maïuma, with 6 troparia, including the irmos; that of the martyr, with 4 troparia; and that of the venerable one, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is O Benedict, bestow thy benediction on us, in Tone II

Ode I

Irmos: Of old, Thou didst part the waters of the Red Sea with the staff of the law-giver, O Christ, saving the chosen people dryshod, who sang a hymn of triumph to Thy victorious right hand.

O Christ, Who leddest Thy chosen people dryshod through the waters of the Red Sea, and wast baptised in the waters of the Jordan, grant that I may sing the praises of thy blessed servant.

Blessed in truth was the venerable Benedict, who with his abbot’s staff parted the waters of the tumults of this world and led his monks dryshod across to the promised land of dispassion.

The waters of the sea of life ever rage with the deadly surgings of tribulations and temptations, O Benedict, but by the rudder of thy staff guide us safely to the calm haven of salvation.

Theotokion: Never will our mouths tire of singing thy praises, O Theotokos who didst bear in thine arms Him Who was baptised by John in the Jordan, bringing enlightenment to our benighted race.


Irmos: Establish me, O Lord my God, that mine enemy may not boast concerning me; for Thou, O Lord, art my confirmation, my refuge and power.

Establish me in the way of the virtues, O holy one, and lead me unto the kingdom of the Lord, Who is my confirmation, refuge and strength.

Disdaining vainglory, O Benedict, thou didst forsake the royal court, following after the Lord, Who is thy confirmation, refuge and strength.

Inflamed with ardent desire for the knowledge of things divine, the pious Benedict earnestly meditated day and night upon the law of God.

Theotokion: Come unto our aid, O Queen, that the enemy of our race may not boast of us; for, after God, thou art our confirmation, refuge and strength.

Kontakion of the martyr (see in the Menaion)

And this kontakion of the venerable one, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: Today the Virgin

Though thy monasteries at Wearmouth and Jarrow were long ago destroyed by the ungodly, the churches which stand there are yet receptacles of grace, O blessed Benedict; and repairing to them with hope, we beg the healing of our infirmities and forgiveness of the transgressions we have committed in our lives.

Sessional hymn of the martyr (see in the Menaion)

Glory: Sessional hymn of the venerable one, in the same tone (Tone IV) and melody (Go Thou quickly before)

As thou wast a model of humility and meekness, full of the true knowledge of God, O venerable father Benedict, with fervour thou dost now intercede for the Church of Christ, and prayest without ceasing to Him on behalf of us who celebrate thy feast and honour thy holy memory with love.

Now & ever: Sessional hymn of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Ode IV

Irmos: I hymn Thee, O Lord, for I heard report of Thee, and I was afraid; for Thou comest to me, seeking me who have strayed. Wherefore, I glorify Thy great condescension toward me, O greatly Merciful One.

Thy great zeal for the Lord consuming thy soul, thou didst betake thyself to the great Monastery of Lérins, where thou didst bend thy neck in holy obedience, receiving the angelic habit, O wondrous Benedict.

By thy reverent conduct thou didst show that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, O venerable father; for thou gavest no sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids, until thou hadst mastered the rules of piety.

Ever yearning for the Jerusalem on high, on earth thou didst journey often as a pilgrim to Rome, to bow down in prayer at the tombs of the apostles and martyrs, O saint of God, blessing Him for His great mercy.

Theotokion: Save us, O Mother of God, to whom all men were entrusted as thy children when thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, was nailed to the tree of the Cross; for thy maternal boldness before Him doth free us from adversity.

Ode V

Irmos: Dispelling the gloom of dark ignorance, O Christ God Who art life and light, illumine our thoughts, our spiritual senses, with the never-waning light of Thine understanding.

Taking up the lamp of divine knowledge, O Benedict, thou didst lift it high, dispelling all the darkness of thy countrymen’s ignorance with the pure light of understanding.

On material treasures thou didst not set thy heart, preferring instead the spiritual riches of theology and the lustrous grace of sacred relics and holy icons, O blessed one.

With the venerable Adrian, O saint, thou didst escort the holy bishop Theodore when he journeyed to his new flock, like unto Barnabas and Silas with the Apostle Paul.

Theotokion: Thee do we implore, who languish betimes in gloom and shadow, our senses darkened by sins and iniquities, that thou lead us forth into the never-waning light of thy Son, O Virgin.

Ode VI

Irmos: I am stuck fast in the abyss of sin, O Saviour, and tempest-tossed on the deep of life; yet lead me up from the passions and save me, as Thou didst Jonah from the sea monster.

Having parted from the tombs of the holy apostles, O Benedict, thou didst journey to the Kingdom of Kent, where thou wast given charge of the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul.

Ye who love the saints of God, join chorus today in jubilation, celebrating with rejoicing and gladness the virtues of the venerable Benedict, the true namesake of blessedness.

Bemired in the pit of sin, we call in prayer upon the holy Benedict, entreating his aid, that we may be delivered from the carnal passions and the temptations of the devil.

Theotokion: Every Christian crieth out, O Mistress, beseeching thee to extend thy helping hand; for if thou wilt not draw us forth from the deep, the monsters of the abyss will surely devour us.

Kontakion, in Tone & ikos of the feast (see in the Menaion).


Irmos: The three youths, cast into the flaming furnace, danced together in chorus; and delighting in Christ, as in a meadow of incorruption, they cried, singing: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou in Thy temple!

Northumbria’s king bestowed upon thee lands at Wearmouth, whereon to establish a monastic house, O Benedict; and there thou didst teach pious men to sing: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou in Thy temple!

Eagerly desiring a church fit for the worship of Christ, O venerable one, thou didst hire stonecutters from the land of the Franks, to raise up a building wherein to sing O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou in Thy temple!

Dedicating church and monastery to the preëminent Apostle, O father, therein thou didst teach all the doctrines of piety, edifying thy land, that men might sing in Orthodox wise: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou in Thy temple!

Theotokion: In his stately church the venerable Benedict set up a magnificent icon of thee, O all-immaculate one, that all, venerating it, might render thee due honour, singing: O Mother of God, blessed art thou among women!


Irmos: Thou didst set the foundation of the earth in the beginning, O Lord, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands. All creation hymneth Thee, and in its words glorifieth Thy works forever.

Charity, with faith and hope, filled thy God-bearing soul, O Benedict, and filleth the whole Church with awe and wonder, so that, lifting up its voice, it glorifieth thee and thy Creator forever.

Thy foundation in Wearmouth laboured so well for Christ the Lord, O saint, that the king enabled thee to establish another at Jarrow, nigh unto it, wherein also to glorify the works of God forever.

In his love for the divine liturgy, the holy Benedict prevailed upon the holy bishop Agatho to send from Rome a skilled precentor and chanter, to teach the English monks fittingly to glorify God.

Of the fruits produced by thy labours in the vineyard of the Lord, the greatest was Bede the Venerable, in whom the Master was well-pleased; and with thee in heaven he glorifieth the works of God forever.

Theotokion: Neither angelic voice in heaven above, nor human tongue on earth, is worthy to sing thy supernal glory, O all-holy Mother of the Creator of all; yet do we strive ever to glorify thee fittingly forever.

Ode IX

Irmos: Thee do we magnify, O blessed and most pure Theotokos, who through thy virgin womb ineffably didst make God incarnate, the Luminary Who shone forth before the sun and hath come to us in the flesh.

On a bed of affliction did the venerable one lie for three years, unable to move, and in great pain; yet did he ever strive to sing the praises of Christ, Who shone forth forth upon mankind from the Virgin’s womb.

Now let us all praise the virtues of Benedict the God-bearer, who shone forth in piety more brightly than the sun, and whose holy memory filleth with the warmth of grace those frozen in the ice of indifference.

Unto the renowned monasteries of Thorney and Glastonbury thy sacred relics were borne, O Benedict, to save them from evildoers and the blasphemous; and like gems they shone for all with the lustre of divine grace.

Theotokion: Speak but the word to thy Son, the incarnate God, O blessed Mother of the Creator, and in His love for thee He will do all that thou wilt ask, as of old He heeded thine entreaty at the wedding of Cana in Galilee.

Exapostilarion of the venerable one: Spec. Mel.: The heaven with stars

O Creator of all, Who bearest Thy saints up into heaven as upon clouds, by thy favoured one, the blessed Benedict save us who magnify him.

Glory, Now & ever: Exapostilarion of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Aposticha stichera of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Glory: of the venerable one Idiomelon, in the same tone (Tone VI)

Come, ye Christians of these latter times, and though lacking in all zeal and every virtue, let us praise the venerable Benedict, the namesake of blessedness, who, having toiled unceasingly for his Master, hath received from Him the promised reward for his faithful service, and dwelleth now in the habitations of the just, from whence he sendeth aid upon the wretched and afflicted, and by his mediation obtaineth for us the remission of sins and great mercy.

Now & ever: Doxasticon of the feast (see in the Menaion).

At the Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 6 troparia from Ode VII of the festal canon.

Prokimenon of the feast, and that of the venerable one, in Tone VII

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS, § 213 [Gal. 5: 22-6:2]

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Alleluia of the feast, and that of the venerable one, in Tone VI

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.


At that time, Jesus stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all. And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said: Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye who hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye who weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.

Communion verse of the feast, and that of the venerable one

In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.