Commemoration of our Venerable Mother Ebba, Abbess of Coldingham

Month of August


Commemoration of our Venerable Mother Ebba, Abbess of Coldingham

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At Lord, I have cried, these stichera, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: Joy of the ranks of heaven

Thou art the joy of the ranks of the venerable and mighty intercessor on earth art, O wondrous Ebba. Save us who have recourse unto thee, for after God it is to thee that we flee, O ever-blessed saint.

Rejoicing with the heavenly orders and all the ranks of the saints of God, O glorious mother Ebba, thou intercedest for those who honour thee on earth, for thy lovingkindness and compassion have won for thee great grace from God.

Joyfully standing before the throne of the Almighty, O Ebba rich in mercy, thou makest entreaty of His goodness, that He take pity on us all, for in great veneration do we cherish thy sacred memory.

Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone IV

When the king, thy brother, desired thee to marry, O venerable Ebba, thou didst spurn an earthly husband and treat thy royal rank as nought, preferring to betroth thyself to Christ the King alone; wherefore, thou didst go in humility to the holy bishop Finan in Lindisfarne, and wast clothed by him in the angelic habit, wherein thou didst live thy life in piety and all the Christian virtues.

Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: As one valiant among the martyrs

When she beheld Thee, O Lord, nailed to the Cross, the ewe-lamb, Thy mother, marvelled and said: What is this sight which I behold, O my Son most desired? How hast Thou been rewarded by the iniquitous and unbelieving assembly, which hath enjoyed Thy many miracles? Yet, glory, O Master, to Thine ineffable condescension!

Aposticha stichera from the Octoechos; and, Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone VIII

With goodly praises let us extol the wondrous Ebba, who in humility and poverty of spirit became a model for monastics; for the grace which shone forth from her spiritually illumined the convent which she founded at Ebbchester, and flowed down, like a river to the sea, at Coldingham. Let us therefore drink of this mystic spring like harts from a tranquil stream, that quenching the thirst of our souls therewith, we may glorify the Lord Who is wondrous in His saint.

Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: O all-glorious wonder

What is this sight which I behold with mine eyes, O Master? Dost Thou, Who sustainest all creation, die, lifted up upon the Tree, giving life unto all?, the Theotokos said, weeping, when she beheld the God-man who shone forth ineffably from her suspended upon the Cross.

Troparion, in Tone VIII

In thee, O mother, that which is fashioned according to the image of God was preserved; for, having taken up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ, and by thine example didst teach that the flesh is to be disdained as passing, but that the soul must be cared for as a thing immortal. Wherefore, thy spirit doth rejoice with the angels, O venerable Ebba.

At Matins

At God is the Lord, the troparion of the venerable one, twice; Glory, Now & ever: Theotokion.

Canon of the saint, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is Let Ebba, the bride of Christ, be praised, in Tone I

Ode I

Irmos: Moses, Who beheld God, proclaimeth praise unto Israel, and Miriam leadeth the all-wise women. Let us all sing a hymn of victory unto God the Deliverer!

Let us sing a hymn of victory unto God our Deliverer, O ye faithful, led in our hymnody by the all-wise and venerable Ebba, who praiseth the Lord in the highest.

Ebba, the sister of kings, was truly most wise; for she preferred the King of kings to any royal husband. Wherefore, she singeth a hymn of victory unto her Deliverer.

The venerable Ebba, mindful of the vanity of this world, spurned riches and earthly power, and casting aside her princely raiment, put on coarse monastic vesture.

Theotokion: Ever do we sinners have recourse to the all-holy Virgin, for, mindful of the mercies of her Son, she unceasingly entreateth Him to have pity on those who honour her.


Irmos: Let no mortal boast in his wisdom or riches, but rather in his faith in the Lord, crying out to Christ God in Orthodox manner, and ever singing: On the rock of Thy commandments establish me, O Master!

Bowing her neck in obedience before the holy bishop Finan, the venerable Ebba received the monastic tonsure, betrothing herself to the heavenly Bridegroom, Whose commandments she embraced with faith.

Bravely forsaking her queenly dowry and rejecting earthly marriage, obedient to the precepts of her Master with piety the holy Ebba cleaved to the fear of God, which is the beginning of all spiritual wisdom.

As a most reverent monastic and devout Christian, the venerable Ebba shone with the radiance of grace, shedding divine light upon all who had recourse to her, guiding them to the safe haven of salvation.

Theotokion: Thee do we revere above all created beings, O Mother of God, who art higher in honour even than the cherubim and seraphim; for boasting in thee alone as our protectress, we are established on the rock of Faith.

Sessional hymn, in Tone IV : Spec. Mel.: Go thou quickly before

As a reason-endowed ewe-lamb of the Lamb and Shepherd, O Ebba most wise, thou didst struggle manfully in fasting and ascetic feats, and have attained an honour equal to the angels. Wherefore, in gladness of heart we all celebrate thy sacred memory, O venerable mother.


O most immaculate Virgin who gavest birth to the transcendent God: with the bodiless ones unceasingly entreat Him, that, before the end, He grant remission of transgressions and correction of life unto us who hymn thee with faith and love as is meet, O only most hymned one.


When she beheld Thee uplifted upon the Cross, O Word of God, Thine all-pure Mother exclaimed, lamenting maternally: What is this new and strange mystery, O my Son? How is it that Thou, the Life of all, dost taste death, desiring to bring life to the dead, in that Thou art compassionate?

Ode IV

Irmos: Thy grace hath shone forth upon the nations, and the ends of the earth have beheld Thy glory, for by Thy Cross hast Thou saved the whole world.

Holy is Coldingham, the site of thine ascetic struggles, O venerable mother, for it witnessed the glory of the grace of God shining forth from thee.

Every Christian nation honoureth the memory of the glorious Ebba, the light of whose wondrous virtues shone forth to all the ends of the earth.

Beneath the precious Cross of thy Saviour dost thou ever flee, O venerable mother, begging Him to take pity on the whole world in His compassion.

Redeemed by the blood which thy Son shed upon the Cross for the sins of the world, O most immaculate Virgin, we ever hymn thy glory.

Ode V

Irmos: We confess the divine and ineffable beauty of Thy virtues, O Christ; for having shone forth from eternal Glory as the co-eternal and hypostatic Effulgence, incarnate of the Virgin’s womb Thou hast shone forth like the Sun upon those in darkness and shadow.

In divine hymns and spiritual songs do we praise thy Christian virtues, O Ebba most rich, for, filled with the effulgence of Him Who, as the Sun of righteousness, shone forth from the Virgin’s womb, thou dost illumine us who languish in darkness and shadow.

Deigning to descend from heaven into the Virgin’s womb, Christ, the Effulgence of God, became man to save us from sin and death; and He filled the pious Ebba with His glory, setting her as a star in the majestic firmament of His Holy Church.

Ebba gathered to her those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness, and governed them according to the rule of Faith and the precepts of the holy fathers, leading them out of the spiritual darkness and shadow which Satan had cast over them as a pall.

Theotokion: Offering thee fitting praise, we hymn thy divine and ineffable beauty, O most immaculate Maiden, for in His mercy the Ancient of days ineffably willed to become incarnate in thine all-pure womb, that He might enlighten us who walk in darkness and shadow.

Ode VI

Irmos: Lead up my life from corruption as Thou didst the Prophet Jonah, I cry to Thee, O Christ God Who lovest mankind, for with Thee is life, incorruption and power.

Faithfully didst thou admonish the lambs of thy flock, O holy Ebba, that they spurn the allurements of earthly pleasures and embrace the life which is in Christ.

Corruption and decadence did the enemy of our salvation sow like tares in thy spiritual field, O Ebba, but thou didst strive with diligence to uproot them therefrom.

Heaven resounded with thy supplications, O venerable mother, when thou madest earnest entreaty on behalf of thy flock, that their life be freed from all corruption.

Theotokion: Risen from the dead, having triumphed over death and corruption, Christ ascended to heaven in glory, and He received the Virgin’s precious soul at her repose.

Kontakion, in Tone IV

Strengthened by the love of Christ and all the virtues, thou didst thus become a dwelling-place of God; for, having mortified the passions of the flesh by fasting, thou was manifest as a receptacle of grace divine. Wherefore, like a beacon thou shinest forth with splendour upon the world, illumining all with the beams of the Spirit, O venerable Ebba. Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who honour thy holy memory with love.

Ikos: As Ebbchester was watered by the Derwent and Coldingham was washed by the waves of the sea, so even today do the great virtues of the venerable Ebba wash over those who faithfully honour her, like streams of a mighty river, giving drink to us who thirst after righteousness and yearn for the salvation which is in Christ alone. Wherefore, venerating her godly struggles, we lift up our voices to her in supplication, crying: O venerable Ebba, entreat the Lord, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who honour thy holy memory with love.


Irmos: All Thy works are true and Thy paths straight, O God of our fathers!

In meekness thou didst make tread the path of salvation unto God, O saint.

Struggling in truth, O Ebba, thou didst emulate the ascetic feats of the fathers.

Thy works, O saint, were truly pleasing to the God of our fathers.

Theotokion: Bowing to the holy will of God, thou didst conceive Him in thy womb, O Virgin.


Irmos: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of glory and Vanquisher of death, exalt ye supremely for all ages!

Ever supremely exalting Christ, the King of glory, the blessed Ebba truly vanquished death

Praising Jesus of Nazareth as her Saviour and Redeemer, Ebba hath entered the gates of paradise.

Retiring from the world, the pious Etheldreda entrusted herself to the holy Ebba’s godly instruction.

Theotokion: All Christians bless the all-holy Virgin, who gave birth to Jesus the King, the Vanquisher of death.

Ode IX

Irmos: Rejoice, O boast of virgins! Rejoice, O all-pure Mother, whom all of us, all creatures, do magnify with divine hymns.

Inspired with fear by the dread vision of the pious Adamnan, with tears the holy Ebba preached repentance.

Seeing demons assailing her lambs, Ebba summoned the holy Cuthbert to exhort them to greater struggle.

Entreating the Lord, Ebba averted His wrath from her flock; but after her repose fire smote the unrepentant.

Theotokion: Deliver from all misfortunes those who boast in thee alone, after God, O all-pure one, for we magnify thee.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: Hearken, ye women

O ye who have put on the angelic habit, imitate the life of the venerable Ebba, for she standeth now in the train of the Queen of heaven at the right hand of the throne of the glory of her Son, making entreaty on our behalf.


The divinely wise virgins who stand round about thee, O all-pure Mary Theotokos, have been brought to thy Son, the King of all, as brides. Him do thou entreat on our behalf, O Virgin Maiden and Mother.

Aposticha stichera from the Octoechos; and Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone VI

Forsaking the bonds of kinship and rejecting an earthly suitor, the glorious Ebba was manifestly strengthened by love divine, and by her meekness and obedience escaped the hold of the adversary of mankind, casting down all his machinations, to receive the crown of victory from the hand of her Lord; and therewith adorned, she hath gone in, rejoicing, to the banquet of her heavenly Bridegroom.

Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: Having set all aside

The unblemished ewe-lamb, the immaculate Mistress, when of old she beheld her Lamb upon the tree of the Cross, exclaimed maternally and, marvelling, cried aloud: O my Child most sweet! What is this new and all-glorious sight? How hath the thankless assembly betrayed Thee to the tribunal of Pilate? How doth he condemn Thee to death, Who art the life of all? Yet do I hymn Thine ineffable condescension, O Word!

At the Liturgy

Prokimenon, in Tone IV

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

Stichos: In congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

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, in Tone I

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

Stichos: And He brought me up out of the pit of misery, and from the mire of clay.

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

The Lord said 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 Verse

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