Our Venerable Father Kevin, Abbot of Glendalough, Wonder-worker of All Ireland

Month of June


Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Kevin, Abbot of Glendalough, Wonder-worker of All Ireland

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At Lord, I have cried, these stichera, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: On the third day

Noble of spirit was the God-bearing Kevin, the namesake of nobility; wherefore, full of love for God and neighbour, he withdrew into the wilderness, where in solitude he prayed earnestly on behalf of the sinful world.

Wondrous was the devotion of the venerable one for the sheep of the flock entrusted to his charge; wherefore, he traversed sea and land to obtain God’s blessing upon them, bringing back with him the grace-filled relics of the saints.

The years of man’s life are threescore and ten, or mayhap fourscore if he be in strength, but any more is toil and travail; yet our Savior granted sixscore years unto His favored one, wherein to exalt His holy name.

Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone II

Like as the two lakes of Glendalough water their vale, so was the glorious Kevin nourished with the twin springs of Orthodox doctrine and ascetic endeavor. Wherefore, all who honor him become like trees planted by the streams of the grace which dwelt in him, so that, nurtured thereby, their leaf doth not fall, and they prosper exceedingly in the Spirit, bringing forth in due season the goodly fruits of virtue and devotion.

Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: When from the Tree

When thou didst behold hanging upon the Tree, the most ripe Cluster, Whom thou didst produce in thy womb without cultivation, O pure one, lamenting, thou didst exclaim and cry out: ‘O my Child, let fall a drop of sweetness, whereby all the drunkenness of the passions may be banished! O Benefactor, be Thou entreated in Thy loving-kindness for the sake of me who gave Thee birth!’

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

Come, all ye who love the saints of God, and with the Christians of Ireland let us offer praise to the venerable Kevin, the precious receptacle of grace divine, the chosen instrument of the Lord’s economy; for, as a sign of his favour with the Most High, creation made obeisance before him and willingly served him. Wherefore, let us lift up our voices in thanksgiving unto Christ, Who hath given us so great a mediator before His throne, who ever offereth entreaty to Him on behalf of our souls.

Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: Called from on high

‘Do not lament Me, O Mother, beholding, hanging upon the Tree, thy Son and God Who suspended the earth unsupported upon the waters and fashioned all creation; for I shall arise and be glorified, and shall crush the realms of hades with strength; I shall destroy its power and deliver those in bondage from its evil activity, for I am compassionate; and I shall bring them to My Father, in that I love mankind’.

Troparion, in Tone IV

With hymns of praise let us all bless the noble Kevin, who by his godly love poureth divine grace into the hearts of those who honor him; for he dwelleth now with the saints and angels in heaven, where he standeth before the throne of the Most High, praying unceasingly for us all.

At Matins

At God is the Lord, the troparion of the saint, twice; Glory, Now & ever: Theotokion, or stavrotheotokion.

Canon of the saint, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is Highly praised is the noble-born Kevin, 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.

Help me to escape my sins, O Christ, parting the waters of mine iniquities, that, saved, I may sing a fitting hymn of victory to the venerable Kevin, who triumphed gloriously over all the passions.

In spiritual songs let us praise the noble-born Kevin, the fountain of God’s mercies and compassions, who poureth forth in abundance the bright waters of divine grace for the New Israel.

Glory and honor let us render unto Kevin of great renown, who, though a scion of royal stock, betook himself to dwell alone in the wilderness, and became like a tree planted by streams of waters.

Theotokion: How can any man magnify thee worthily, O Virgin Theotokos? How can we praise thee as is meet? For thou dost rescue us by the grace of God which overfloweth from thee as thou standest at His right hand.


Irmos: The desert, the barren Church of the nations, blossomed like a lily at Thine advent, O Lord; and therein hath my heart been established.

Let us honor the holy Cronan, who immersed the infant Kevin in the sacred waters of the font of enlightenment, establishing his heart in the Lord.

Ye pious and holy monastics, be glad in the Lord, for like a lily did the venerable Kevin blossom in your midst, wherein his heart was established.

Preferring to meditate in the law of the Lord day and night, the wondrous Kevin withdrew to the barren wilderness, far from the tumults of life.

Theotokion: Reigning on high, O Mistress of all, thou dost blossom like a lily in the heavenly abodes, and standest as Queen at the right hand of thine almighty Son.

Sessional hymn, in Tone : Spec. Mel.: O Thou Who wast lifted up

Great was the devotion of the venerable Kevin to his Master, for, though of noble birth and lineage, he forsook the world and all its delights, and fled into the wilderness, in solitude seeking to hear the still, small voice of Him Who in His loving-kindness ever forgiveth our iniquities.

Glory, Now & ever: Theotokion

I, the lowly one, have fled to thy divine refuge after God, and, falling down, I pray: Have mercy, O all-pure one, for my sins have passed over my head. O Mistress, I fear torments and tremble. Make supplication to thy Son, O pure one, that He deliver me therefrom.


She who in latter times gave birth in the flesh to Thee Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, O Christ, seeing Thee hanging upon the Cross cried out: ‘Woe is me, O Jesus most beloved! How is it that Thou Who art glorified as God by the angels art now of Thine own will crucified by iniquitous men? O my long-suffering Son, I hymn Thee!’

Ode IV

Irmos: Purified by the fire of a mystical vision, the prophet praiseth the restoration of mortal men; and, filled with the inspiration of the Spirit, he lifteth up his voice to reveal the incarnation of the ineffable Word, Who hath broken the dominion of the mighty.

Angelic guidance and mystic vision led thee up into the solitary Vale of Glendalough, O wondrous Kevin, where, clad in skins and partaking only of nettles and sorrel, thou didst receive the inspiration of the Spirit, which filled thee with the sweet psalmody of nature.

In autumn and winter the plants whereon thou didst subsist remained green for thy use, O glorious one, ineffably maintained fresh for thy use by the incarnate Word; and betimes thou didst hear the branches and leaves of the trees sing sweet hymns of praise unto Him, their Creator.

Sleeping nightly by the waterside, and making thy bed upon stones, thou didst strive to purify thyself of the passions in the fiery crucible of ascetic feats, O Kevin; wherefore, to provide ease and consolation for thy soul, the Most High let fall heavenly music upon thine ear.

Theotokion: Even the most eloquent of orators findeth his art inadequate for the praise of Mary, the all-immaculate Maiden, Bride of God, as is meet.. How then can our feeble efforts produce hymnody fit for her praise? Yet spurn not our meagre offerings, O Lady, and accept them.

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.

Dima the drover discovered thee abiding in a gloomy cave, seeking Christ, the true Light of knowledge and understanding, O Kevin; and he besought thee to leave thy fastness.

In Disert-Coemgen didst thou make thy dwelling, O venerable one, and didst attract a company of disciples, whose minds and spiritual senses thou didst illumine with spiritual light.

Salmon did an otter bring every day to thy habitation, O saint, feeding thee and thy disciples by God’s will, like as the ravens fed Elijah with meat and bread by the Brook of Cherith.

Theotokion: Thy glory surpasseth that of even the most exalted created beings, O all-holy Lady; for, alone among God’s creatures, thou gavest birth unto Him Who is our Life and never-waning Light.

Ode VI

Irmos: The great abyss of sin encompasseth me, and, imitating the prophet, I cry to thee: Lead me up from corruption, O Lord!

Higher in the Valley of the Two Lakes didst thou establish thy sacred community, O Kevin, and higher yet didst thou ascend through all the virtues.

Ever mindful of the well-being of thy flock, O holy one, thou didst make the long and perilous journey to Rome to obtain blessings for them.

Neither the great deep of the sea nor perils on land hindered Kevin from bringing to Ireland a sacred treasure of the relics of the saints.

Theotokion: Over all creatures art thou exalted, O glorious Maiden, for thou gavest birth in the flesh unto Him Who is the Author and Fashioner of all that is.

Kontakion, in Tone V

Forsaking thy noble inheritance, and shunning all the crooked ways of this sin-loving world, thou didst apply thine obedient feet to the straight and narrow path of Christ, eagerly hastening throughout thy life toward the heavenly Sion, where with all the saints and the bodiless hosts thou criest aloud in ecstasy: Let every breath praise the Lord!

Ikos: Ye lofty trees of Ireland, ever move your verdant branches, that with the rustling of your leafs, as with the strings of a multitude of harps, ye may make sweet music for the King of kings; for thus of old did ye delight His faithful servant, the venerable Kevin, with your melodious song, easing the severity of his ascetic life with the beauty of your hymnody, filling his soul with exultation, and causing him to cry aloud: Let every breath praise the Lord!


Irmos: The children from Jerusalem, equal in number to the thrice-radiant Trinity, trampled underfoot the edict of the ungodly king in Babylon; and, cast into the fire, they joined chorus, singing: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Blessed wast thou, O holy one, by thy countrymen who, joining chorus, praised thee as a soldier of Christ in the land of Ireland, a high name over the sea’s wave: Kevin the pure, bright warrior in the Glen of the Two Broad Lakes.

Lamentation’s tears didst thou shed for the holy Kieran at Clonmacnois, O saint of God, but O the wonder! the holy abbot rose from the dead to engage thee in edifying discourse, and gave thee his sacred bell as a worthy parting gift.

Earnestly desiring to make another pilgrimage to the City of the Holy Apostles, Kevin besought the blessing of a saintly elder, who told him: Birds do not hatch their eggs when they are on the wing; wherefore, he remained with his flock.

Theotokion: Bemired in my sins and stuck fast in the slough of mine iniquities, I cry to thee for aid: O Lady, come quickly and extend to me a helping hand, rescuing me from my manifold offenses, that I may cry: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!


Irmos: God, Who descended into the fiery furnace for the Hebrew children and transformed the flame into dew, hymn ye as Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Over and beyond the span allotted to men’s life didst thou live, O Kevin, attaining the age of sixscore years, as God was well-pleased to grant, Whom all His works exalt supremely for all ages.

Replete with all the Christian virtues, thou didst depart this vale of tears and hast taken thine allotted place at the right hand of the Most High, exalting Him supremely for all ages.

Now standest thou with boldness before the supernal throne of the Almighty, O wondrous Kevin, and makest intercession before the King of all, that He have mercy upon those who honour thee.

Kneeling down in reverence and devotion, let us exalt the Bride of God, whom the flame of the Godhead in no wise burnt or consumed when the Word became incarnate in her womb.

Ode IX

Irmos: O Theotokos, with hymns do we magnify thee, the spiritual and living ladder whereon our God established Himself, and whereby we have gained ascent to heaven.

Ever battling the passions which assail men’s souls, and vanquishing the minions of Satan who lay siege without pity thereto, Kevin hath gloriously gained entry to heaven.

Valor and courage didst thou display in the arena of ascetic endeavor, O glorious Kevin, and the Judge of the contest hath bestowed the wreath of victory upon thee.

Ireland boasteth in thy mighty intercession, O wonder-worker; Dublin boasteth in thee exceedingly as its heavenly protector; and Glendalough magnifieth thee supremely.

Theotokion: Now let us bring an end to our hymns, magnifying the only Mother of God, the pure Ever-virgin Mary, into whose undefiled womb the Lord of all descended from heaven.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: Heaven with stars

In the fastness of the Vale of the Two Lakes didst thou make thine abode, O wondrous Kevin, heeding the call of Christ, our merciful Redeemer, to dwell in unity with thy faithful disciples.


Thou wast the cause of the good things given by God to the world, O Theotokos. Entreat God, Who is easily reconciled, for the salvation of us all.

Aposticha stichera; and Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone VIII

Singing psalms and spiritual songs, let us lift up our voices in praise of the God-bearing Kevin, the protector of Dublin and defender of all Ireland, the mighty champion of the one Church of Christ, the fervent intercessor for all who honor him with love, the bulwark and refuge of monastics, the insuperable wall of defense for his people, fending off the assaults of the demons, impregnable to their weaponry; for arrayed in the full armor of piety, wielding the sword of the Truth and the spear of righteousness, undaunted by the savage foe, he valiantly fought the good fight and emerged victorious.

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

‘I cannot bear to see Thee, O my Child, Who givest vigilance unto all, asleep upon the Tree, that Thou mayest bestow divine and saving wakefulness upon those who of old fell into the sleep of perdition by eating the fruit of disobedience!’, weeping, said the Virgin, whom we magnify.

At the Liturgy

At the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from Ode III and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the venerable one.

Prokimenon, in Tone VII

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

Stichos: What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto me?


Brethren: 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, 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.


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 that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that 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

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