Commemoration of Our Venerable Mother Eanswythe, Abbess of Folkestone & Wonderworker of Kent

Month of August


Commemoration of the Deposition of the Precious Cincture of the All-holy Theotokos

Commemoration of Our Venerable Mother Eanswythe, Abbess of Folkestone & Wonderworker of Kent

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At Lord, I have cried, 6 stichera: 3 of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos (see in the Menaion); and 3 of the venerable one, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: On the third day

Daughter of kings, O Eanswythe, thou didst spurn a royal bridegroom, preferring to betroth thyself to Christ the eternal King; wherefore, thou reignest on high with Him unto the ages of ages.

By penitence and prayer, O saint, thou didst fend off the burning arrows and assaults of the ancient foe; wherefore, having mortified thy flesh, thou partakest of delight in the heavens.

In surpassing holiness of life thou didst serve God with diligence, O holy one; wherefore, resplendent with His glory, thou shinest forth the light of His supernal grace upon all who honour thee.

Glory: Idiomelon, in the same tone

O venerable Eanswythe, royal maiden, thou didst spring forth from sacred roots like a sanctified vine, bearing a harvest of holiness like ripe grapes for Christ, the Husbandman of the vineyard; and having been trodden in the press of ascetic feats, thou didst pour forth for Him the sweet wine of the virtues in abundance, which now gladdeneth the hearts of all who honour thy memory with faith and love.

Now & ever, of the Deposition of the Cincture (see in the Menaion).

Aposticha stichera of the Deposition of the Cincture (see in the Menaion); and, Glory: Idiomelon of the venerable one, in Tone I

Mindful of his paternal and regal duties, King Eadbald, thy father, sought a royal husband for thee, O Eanswythe; but the bridegroom he proposed was a heathen prince, a stranger to the Christian Faith. Then didst thou proclaim with great boldness, pointing to a hewn timber: Sire, let the prince pray to his heathen gods, and if they extend this log of wood a foot in length, I will marry him willingly and without complaint! Wherefore, defeated by thy love for Christ, O venerable one, the king built for thee a convent high above the sea, where with chaste hymns and sacred psalms thou didst praise the Lord without ceasing.

Now & ever,Doxasticon of the Deposition of the Cincture (see in the Menaion).

Troparion of the venerable one, in Tone VI

With gladsome voices and hymns of praise let us extol the venerable Eanswythe, who, setting aside rich princely apparel, gladly put on the mean and lowly habit of a nun; and, in place of the idle pursuits of the royal court, set herself boldly to acquire all the virtues. Wherefore, having pleased Christ by her charity and love, she ever intercedeth with Him to have mercy on our souls.

Glory, Now & ever: Troparion of the Deposition of the Cincture (see in the Menaion).

At Matins

At God is the Lord, the troparion of the Deposition of the Cincture, twice; Glory, that of the venerable one, once; Now & ever, that of the Deposition of the Cincture, once.

The two canons of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos, with 8 troparia, including the irmos of the first (see is the Menaion); and that of the venerable one, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is Pray for us sinners, O Eanswythe of Kent, in Tone VIII

Ode I

Irmos: O Lord Who didst fashion an all-glorious path for the people in the sea, make Thou the journey to heaven passable for us, that we may sing a new song unto Thee.

Past all human comprehension is the sanctity of the holy Eanswythe; wherefore, as she hath passed over to the Creator in heaven, with her let us sing a new song to Him.

Replete with heavenly glory, the venerable Eanswythe shineth upon us the splendours of the grace of God, illumining for us the paths of which lead to the kingdom of heaven.

All-glorious was the life of the wondrous Eanswythe, daughter of kings, who spurned a royal bridegroom, preferring instead to betroth herself to the King of kings.

Theotokion: Ye assemblies of the pious, exult and be glad in the Lord, and sing ye a new song unto her who within her all-pure womb supernaturally conceived her own Creator.


Irmos: O Lord Who in the beginning didst establish the heavens and found the earth upon many waters, make me steadfast for the singing of Thy glorification.

Founding the house of thy soul not upon the sands of vainglory, but upon the Chief Cornerstone, O venerable one, thou wast unharmed by the raging billows of temptations.

O thy surpassing penitence! O the constancy of thy prayers! O thy great fasting and vigilance, O saint! For thou wast ever steadfast in thy glorification of the Lord.

Receive thou our prayerful homage, O Eanswythe, bride of Christ, and deliver us from all perils, lest trials drown our life, and the waters of our sins pass over our heads.

Theotokion: Unto thy Son and God didst thou surrender thine all-pure soul at thy holy dormition, O Virgin Theotokos, and He established thee in glory as Queen of the heavens.

Kontakion of the venerable one, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: Thou hast appeared Today

Thy sacred relics are again revealed to the world, and through them the splendour of grace shineth forth with radiance, O wondrous Eanswythe, for thou ever dwellest with Christ amid light unapproachable.

Ikos: Come, and bearing the lamps of our souls full of the oil of mercy and hymns of fitting laudation like garlands of flowers, with reverence let us honour our venerable mother Eanswythe, who, having cherished the precepts of the Lord, hath received in reward a place of honour at His right hand, among the choirs of the ascetics, where, standing amid His unapproachable light, she singeth hymns of praise to Him forever.

Sessional hymn, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: Thy tomb, O Saviour

The minions of the ungodly king destroyed thine honoured shrine O Eanswythe, and thy sacred bones were hidden from men’s sight, lest the impious lay blasphemous hands upon the things of God. But thy holy relics have shone forth again in the fullness of time, for the consolation of the pious.

Glory, Now & ever: Sessional hymn of the Deposition of the Cincture (see in the Menaion).

Ode IV

Irmos: I heard report of Thee, O Lord, and was afraid; I understood Thine ineffable dispensation, and glorified Thy condescension, O Word.

Saved by grace divine, in thy humility and good works, O saint, thou didst come to understand the dispensation of God, glorifying Him.

Strengthened in piety by the fear of God, which is the beginning of all wisdom, thou didst glorify His ineffable condescension, O holy one.

In the mortification of every carnal passion, O Eanswythe, thou didst strive for heavenly rewards, spurning all the allurements of the flesh.

Theotokion: Now do the sacred relics of the venerable Eanswythe, which rest in the church of the Mother of God, fill Folkestone with the radiance of God’s power.

Ode V

Irmos: My spirit riseth at dawn unto Thee, O God, for the commandments of Thine advent are light; wherefore, illumine our mind therewith, O Master, and guide me to the path of life.

Neither the temptations of the devil nor the weakness of thy nature caused thee to stray from the path of life, O saint of God; wherefore, thy mind was illumined by ineffable effulgence.

Eanswythe fulfilled all the commandments of Christ, rising at dawn to chant praises unto Him; wherefore, she abideth with the saints and angels in the heavens, wholly filled with ineffable light.

Rising early out of the darkness of night, the venerable one illumined all her thoughts with the precepts of her Master, worshipping Him in humility of mind, imbued with all the virtues.

Theotokion: Salvation dawned upon our race when in obedience thou, O Virgin, didst conceive the Word of God in thy pure womb; wherefore, we now tread the path which leadeth unto the life of heaven.

Ode VI

Irmos: Like the waters of the sea am I tossed about by the waves of life, O Thou Who lovest mankind. Wherefore, like Jonah I cry to Thee: Lead up my life from corruption, O compassionate Lord!

Overwhelmed are we by the sea of temptations, and relentlessly battered by the billows of transgressions; but Eanswythe crieth unto God: Lead up their life from corruption, O compassionate Lord!

Every sin we have committed weigheth heavily upon us, and we are sinking in the sea of our offences; yet cry we out to the venerable one: Beseech the Lord to save us, O glorious one!

All our life is stuck fast in the mire of sin, and we are sinking past rescue in the slough of despondency. Yet the saint of God hearkeneth to our desperate entreaties, saving us from damnation.

Theotokion: Nethermost hades was the lot of fallen mankind before the incarnation of the Lord through thee, O Lady; for, having suffered the Cross and death for our sake, He hath raised us up from corruption.

Kontakion & ikos of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos (see in the Menaion).


Irmos: Quenching the most destructive power of the Chaldæan furnace, the youths cried out to the Creator, Who had descended in the guise of an Angel: Blessed and praised art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Steadfastly watchful in prayer, and mightily withstanding the burning of the temptations and lusts of the flesh, Eanswythe ever cried aloud: Blessed and praised art Thou, O God of our fathers!

With thy supplications, as with grace-laden dew, quench thou the destructive flames of our offences, O glorious one, that, freed by thee, we may sing: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Ye Saxons and Franks, rejoice greatly in the holy one, your sister according to the flesh, for she intercedeth with zeal before the Creator, that we may all cry: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Theotokion: Theotokos art thou, O Virgin, and Mother of the Angel of great Counsel, Who descended into the flames and preserved unharmed the youths who sang: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!


Irmos: The King of glory Who is without beginning, before Whom the hosts of heaven tremble, hymn, ye priests, and exalt supremely for all ages!

Hymning the King of glory, Eanswythe was enrolled in the choirs of the ascetics, adding her cries of praise to the voices of His angels.

Exalted far above this earthly life, the holy one dwelleth now in paradise, where she standeth with trembling before the high throne of God.

Over us sinners, who honour thy memory, do thou keep vigilant watch, O saint of God, fervently interceding with Him, that our souls may be spared.

Theotokion: For the redemption of fallen man did the King of glory, He Who is without beginning, abase Himself, taking flesh of the pure womb of
the Virgin.

Ode IX

Irmos: Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace, who wast raised in the holy of holies and gavest birth to the Light of the universe! We magnify thy birthgiving with hymns!

Kings were her forebears, and she was raised in piety at the royal court of her earthly sire; yet Eanswythe joined the virgins in the train of the Queen of heaven.

Exalted above any earthly throne, for her virtues the venerable one hath been granted to stand at the right hand of the Light Who illumineth the whole universe.

Nourished in spirit by the grace which shineth forth from the sacred relics of the venerable one, let us all magnify her with hymns, glorifying Him Who hath glorified her.

Theotokion: To thee, who art holier than all created beings, do we sing hymns of praise, magnifying thee as her who for our sake bore the Word of God, the Light of the universe.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: Hearken, ye women

O ye faithful, praise ye the venerable Eanswythe, the glory of Kent and boast of all the English lands, for as a beacon shining forth amid the tempest of life, by the beams of the grace which shineth forth from her she safely guideth the imperilled to the calm harbour of the mercy of God.

Glory, Now & ever: Exapostilarion of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos (see in the Menaion).

At the Praises, 4 stichera of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos (see in the Menaion).

Glory: Idiomelon of the venerable one, in Tone VI

Vile heretics, blaspheming the saints of the Church and denying the divine power which filled them, subjected to destruction, or buried out of sight, the sacred relics treasured in England by the Holy Church; but the grace-filled bones of the venerable Eanswythe were wondrously preserved from their malice by the insuperable will of God, and are shown to be a fountain ever-flowing with His mercies, continually pouring forth miracles upon those who approach them with faith.

Now & ever, of the Deposition of the Cincture of the Theotokos (see in the Menaion).

At the Liturgy

At the Beatitudes: 8 troparia: 4 from Ode III of Canon I of the Deposition of the Cincture, and 4 from Ode VI of the Canon of the venerable one.

Prokimenon, in Tone III, the Song of the Theotokos

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Stichos: For He hath looked upon the lowliness of His handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

And that of the venerable one, in Tone IV

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Epistle to the Hebrews, §320 [Heb. 9: 1-7]

Brethren: the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.

Epistle to the Galatians, §208 [Gal. 3:23-29]

Brethren: Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Alleluia of the Theotokos, in Tone VIII

Stichos: Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy holiness.

Stichos: The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, and He will not annul it.

And that of the venerable one, in Tone I

Stichos: With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication.

Gospel according to Luke, §54 [Lk. 10: 38-42; 11: 27-28]

At that time, Jesus entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said: Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him: Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Gospel according to Matthew, §104 [Mt. 25: 1-13]

The Lord spake this parable: The kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise: Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying: Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said: Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Communion Verses

I will take the cup of salvation, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

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