Month of April
The 10th Day
COMMEMORATION OF THE VENERABLE MARTYRS OF CHERTSEY, HIEROMARTYRS BEOCCA & HETHOR, & NINETY MONKS WITH THEM, SLAUGHTERED BY THE HEATHEN DANES
Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson
On Lord, I have cried, these stichera, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: What shall we call you, O holy ones
Valiantly did ye struggle, O holy ones, bravely enduring the torments inflicted upon you by the barbarians; and in gladness did ye bear the stroke of pagan sword and axe, receiving splendid wreaths from the Judge on high as victorious athletes. Great was your contest, O saints, and great the boldness ye have acquired before your Master.
Uprooting all carnal allurements and the fleeting pleasures of life, as they were tares and thistles, O venerable martyrs, ye cultivated the ground of your souls with the plough of ascetic labor, and planted therein all the Christian virtues, which yielded a great harvest for the Lord, which He reaped with the swords of the heathen Danes.
Living a life of goodness, O martyrs, kindly affectioned one to another in brotherly love, fervent in spirit, ye worshiped the Lord with reasonable service. And when the hordes of the heathen assailed you, ye presented your bodies as a living sacrifice, a wholeburnt offering acceptable to God. Wherefore, ye have the boldness to entreat Him in our behalf.
Glory, of the venerable martyrs: Idiomelon, in Tone V
O venerable martyrs of Chertsey, ye boast of England and glory of Surrey, Beocca the Abbot and Hethor the hieromonk, and ye others, four score and ten in number: truly unfeigned was your fraternal love, for ye preferred one another in honor, and were not wise in your own conceits; wherefore, when persecution overtook you like a deluge, the ark of your souls was upborne on the flood of your blood, bearing you safely to the dry land of paradise, where, offering up the sacrifice of praise, ye mediate the peerless mercies of God for all who honor your holy memory.
Now & ever, from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion; or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: O venerable father
Having assumed my whole form and clothed Himself therein, the Creator and God, Who desired to restore the form of Adam who before had fallen, was willingly lifted up upon the Cross as one guilty; and extending now His hands, He healeth the hands which of old went slack as they stretched forth to grasp the fruit of the tree. Beholding Him, the most pure one exclaimed: ‘What is this Thine ineffable longsuffering, O my Son? I cannot bear to see Thee lifted up upon the Cross, Who holdeth the ends of the whole earth in the palm of Thy hand!’
Aposticha from the Triodion or Pentecostarion; and Glory, of the venerable martyrs: Idiomelon, in Tone II
Having studied the law of the Lord day and night, O holy and venerable martyrs of God, ye learned to abhor evil and to cleave unto that which is good: wherefore, rejoicing in hope and continuing earnestly in prayer, ye were patient in tribulation when the pagan hordes assailed you, and cursing not those who slew you, but rather blessing them, ye gave wing to your innocent souls with your Christian virtues; and they soared aloft to lodge in the verdant glades of paradise.
Now & ever, from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion; or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: When from the Tree
O pure one, when thou didst behold the mature Vine, Whom thou didst bear in thy womb without being cultivated by man, suspended upon the Tree, thou didst exclaim, lamenting: ‘O my Child and Benefactor, as Thou art compassionate, with Thy divine consolations pour forth the sweetness which taketh away the drunkenness of the passions, for the sake of me who gave birth unto Thee!’
Troparion of the venerable martyrs, in Tone IV
O venerable martyrs of the Lord, mindful of the Sacred Scriptures, ye did not resist the rage of the heathen, but gave place unto their wrath; and blessing those who cursed you, ye bowed your necks beneath their swords, surrendering your souls into the hands of your Lord, Who alone is good and loveth mankind.
Canon of the venerable martyrs, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is ‘Ye martyred monks of Chertsey, rejoice!’, in Tone I
Irmos: I shall exalt Thee, O God my Savior, for Thou didst arise from the dead, trampling down death.
Ye angels of heaven, entreat ye God my Savior, that He allow me to exalt these heavenly men!
Ever hating the true light, the barbarians slew the monastics, hewing them down without pity.
Men of blood and violence descended on Chertsey, putting to death all its men of prayer.
Theotokion: All pious monastics lift their voices in hymnody, praising the most immaculate Theotokos.
Irmos: O Thou Who by Thy Word established the whole world, that it not be shaken, establish also our mind in the fear of Thee, O Master and Lord.
Recall to our minds the dire slaughter of Thy monks, O Master and Lord, and by their example teach us to be of good courage amid the perils of life.
The ground of Chertsey, sprinkled with the drops of your blood, O saints, shone with splendor, as with the brilliance of rubies and garnets.
Ye venerable martyrs, entreat our Master and Lord, that by your supplications we may remain unshaken by the trials which beset us.
Theotokion: Ranks of saints and all the angelic orders lift their voices to the vaults of heaven, exalting thee above all, who gavest birth to the Master and Lord.
Sessional hymn, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: Joseph marvelled
The angels of heaven marvelled, beholding the endurance wherewith ye steadfastly bore the pangs of martyrdom, O glorious and venerable martyrs of Chertsey; for, undaunted by the savagery of those who plundered and pillaged your land, ye stood firmly in the Holy Faith, laying down your lives in your love for the one God.
Glory, Now & ever, from the Pentecostarion; or this theotokion, in the same melody
In thee do I behold the ineffable image of awesome wonders, O all-pure Virgin; for thou didst conceive God and didst contain the Infinite One within thy womb. What manner of mystery this is I cannot prove; yet I believe, and with fear I bless thee, singing: Rejoice, O spacious habitation of the infinite God!
The Virgin and ewe-lamb, beholding on the Cross the Lamb Who was born of her without seed, His side pierced by a spear, was wounded with shafts of grief and cried out, exclaiming amid her pain: ‘What is this new mystery? How is it that Thou diest Who alone art Lord of life? Wherefore, arise, raising up our fallen forefather!’
Irmos: I have considered Thy dispensation, O Almighty One, and with fear have I glorified Thee, O Savior.
Even amid terror and torment, the martyred monks glorified Thy holy name, O Almighty Savior.
Dying under the swords and battle-axes of the savage hordes, the saints of God remained undaunted.
Misery did the pagans wreak upon the monasteries of England, but the saints remained steadfast.
Theotokion: O the supernal grace which thou didst receive by the dispensation of thy Son, O Mistress!
Irmos: As Thou art our enlightenment, O Christ, enlighten us, O Defender of our life, and preserve us who trust in Thee.
Now hath the light of Christ shone forth upon us who with reverence venerate the witness of His slaughtered monks.
Knowledge divine did ye pursue in the monastic struggle, O saints; wherefore, ye received wisdom and strength.
Surrey rejoiceth today in the memory of its holy martyrs, who by their trust in Christ have gained a place in paradise.
Theotokion: Over the life of Christians hath Christ made thee defender and protector, O Lady, preserving all who trust in thee.
Irmos: Out of the deep the Prophet Jonah cried out in distress unto Thee, Who lovest mankind: Lead up my life from corruption!
Flowing ceaselessly to the sea, the River Thames rejoiced to carry your martyrs’ blood in its streams, O venerable fathers.
Corrupt in mind and soul, without remorse or pity, the adversaries of Christ slew all the Christian monks and clergy.
Hethor, monk and priest, when slain by the heathen, cried out unto the Lord his Savior: ‘Lead up my life from corruption!’
Theotokion: Ever dost thou console those in distress, O all-holy one, who wast given to us all as our Mother by Him Who loveth mankind.
Kontakion of the venerable martyrs, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.: Seeking the Highest
Having fled from the din of this tumultuous world to the calm and quiet haven of the Abbey of Chertsey, ye strove tirelessly in ascetic stillness and bravely shed your lives’ blood for Christ, O venerable martyrs; wherefore, ye dwell now with the saints and angels on high.
Ikos: In mortifying your bodily members on the earth, ye imitated the Passion of your Savior, both in the pangs of your ascetic feats and in the agony of the martyrdom which ye steadfastly endured for His sake at the hands of heathen barbarians. Wherefore, He hath brought you to dwell everlastingly in paradise, where ye join chorus in gladness, O holy and venerable martyrs, with the saints and angels on high.
Irmos: The furnace was bedewed, O Savior, and the children, dancing, sang: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!
Ruination befell the Abbey of Chertsey, but its monks, faithful unto death, dwell now in the mansions of heaven.
The holy Abbot Beocca, beholding his monks slain like lambs, cried: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!’
Safe now from the wrath of those who hate Christ, the martyrs chant: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!’
Theotokion: Ewes and lambs of thy flock are we, O Theotokos: nurture us now on the pastures bedewed with Christian piety.
Irmos: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of glory and Vanquisher of death, do ye exalt supremely for all ages!
Your heads cloven by the pagans’ blades, O warriors of the King of glory, ye truly vanquished death.
Raging with hatred and greed, the vile hordes of the Danes cut down scores of the pious athletes of God.
England’s realm rejoiceth everlastingly in the intercession of Surrey’s regiment of martyred monks.
Theotokion: Jesus thine omnipotent Son, O Virgin, hath utterly vanquished death and reigneth on high for all ages.
Irmos: Rejoice, O boast of virgins! Rejoice, O all-pure Mother, whom all of us, all creatures, do magnify with divine hymns.
O venerable martyrs of Chertsey, rejoice greatly in your contest, and magnify your Creator with hymns.
In your entreaties before the throne of God, O saints, intercede for those who in hymnody magnify your witness.
Singing with the angels on high, the holy Beocca and those slain with him magnify the Holy Trinity in hymns.
Theotokion: Eternally art thou extolled in hymnody divine by the celestial beings and all the denizens of heaven, O Bride of God.
Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: By the Spirit in the holy place
O God-bearing and venerable martyrs of Chertsey, we, the faithful, offer you fitting praise, glorifying your splendid contest and undaunted courage, wherewith ye bore witness to Christ the Lord before the barbaric hordes of those whose hatred of our Faith knew no bounds.
Aposticha stichera from the Triodion or Pentecostarion ; and Glory, of the venerable martyrs: Idiomelon, in Tone VI
Mindful of admonitions of the Apostle, as far as was possible ye lived peaceably with all men, O venerable martyrs of Chertsey; wherefore, when the godless descended upon thee like wolves upon a flock of innocent lambs, ye were not overcome by their wickedness, nor did ye repay their evil with evil, but, giving place unto wrath, ye freely surrendered your pure souls into the hands of the Savior, Who hath crowned you with twofold wreaths for your ascetic struggles and your glorious martyrdom.
Now & ever, from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion; or this
stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: Having set all aside
O all-pure Mistress, a sword pierced thy heart, as Symeon said, when thou didst behold Him Who shone forth from thee in manner past recounting lifted up on the Cross by the iniquitous as One condemned, given vinegar and gall to drink, His side pierced, His hands and feet run through with nails; and, lamenting, thou didst exclaim, crying out maternally: ‘What is this new mystery, O my Child most sweet?’
At the Liturgy
Prokimenon, in Tone VII
The saints shall boast in glory, and they shall rejoice upon their beds.
Stichos: Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise is in the church of the saints.
Epistle to the Romans, §99 [Rom. 8: 28-39]
Brethren: We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, those He also called: and whom He called, those He also justified: and whom he justified, those he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God Who justifieth. Who is he who condemneth?
It is Christ Who died, yea rather, Who is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter..
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Alleluia, in Tone VI
Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.
Stichos: His seed shall be mighty upon the earth.
Gospel according to Matthew, §37 [Mt. 10: 23-31]
The Lord said to His disciples: When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; praise is meet for the upright.