Month of July
THE 13TH DAY
Commemoration of Our Venerable Mother Mildred,
Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, Wonderworker of Kent
Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson
At Lord, I have cried, these stichera, in Tone Spec. Mel.: Joy of the ranks of heaven
Meek and mild, and humble of mind, the venerable Mildred shone forth with the light of grace, having been reared in piety and love for Christ; wherefore, she cleaved firmly to her Bridegroom as her refuge and salvation, and rejoiceth now in the mansions of heaven.
A beautiful blossom of piety, sprung forth from a holy branch, full of the sweet fragrance of grace divine, Mildred filleth the Church of Christ as with the savour of costly incense; wherefore, inhaling this wondrous scent, we are transported to the garden of paradise on high.
Offspring of the sainted Ermenburgh, and sister of martyrs and saints, full of love for her heavenly Bridegroom, the venerable Mildred fled the attentions of all earthly suitors; and fleeing eagerly to the holy Theodore, she rejoiced to be clothed by him in the angelic habit.
Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone IV
When, enraged, thy father had thy pious brethren slain, O Mildred, and to atone for his sin released thy mother to become a nun, and enabled her to establish a convent in Minster, then didst thou rejoice to accompany her, O holy one, to assist in her sacred labors, laying a firm foundation for thine own monastic life; for therein thou didst flourish like a palm-tree in the splendid courts of thy Lord.
Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: As one valiant among the martyrs.
Seeing Christ, Who loveth mankind, crucified, His side pierced by a spear, the all-pure one cried out, weeping: What is this, O my Son? How have the thankless people rewarded Thee for the good things Thou hast done for them? And dost thou hasten to leave me childless, O most Beloved? I marvel at Thy voluntary crucifixion, O Compassionate One!
Aposticha stichera; and, Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone II
Sent by thy holy mother to Chelles in the kingdom of the Franks, O all-honored Mildred, to be nurtured in the sacred monastic life, even there thou couldst not escape the importunities of earthly suitors, who were enamored of thy great beauty and moved to ambition by thy royal rank; but, faithful to Christ, thy Bridegroom, thou didst flee unto Flanders, where thou didst take ship to return to Kent, where thou wast tonsured a nun by the holy Theodore, becoming abbess in Minster after thy mother. Glory to thy chastity, O venerable one! Glory to thy humility of mind! Glory to the healing power thou hast received from Christ thy Master!
Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: When from the Tree
Beholding Thee nailed to the Tree of the Cross, O Jesus, she who knew not wedlock said, weeping: O my sweet Child, wherefore hast Thou left me alone who gave birth to Thee, O unapproachable Light of the all-unoriginate Father? Haste Thou, and glorify Thyself, that they who glorify Thy divine sufferings may receive divine glory!
Troparion, in Tone IV
Through constant prayer and frequent fasting, by ceaseless hymnody and great humility, the glorious Mildred forsook the allurements of her royal rank, trampling underfoot all worldly pride and presumption. Wherefore, let us imitate her virtues, that, free from all earthly attachments, we may join her at the wedding feast of Christ our Saviour.
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 Pious Mildred abideth now in paradise, in Tone IV
Irmos: The people of Israel, having fled across the watery deep of the Red Sea with dryshod feet, beholding the mounted captains of the enemy drowned therein, sang with gladness: Let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified!
Perceiving the vast deep of my sins, wherein I am drowning, I cry out to my Lord and Redeemer: Through the prayers of the holy Mildred vouchsafe that with her I may sing of Thee: Let us chant unto our God, for He hath been glorified!
In the souls of her children, as in rich soil, the sainted Queen Ermenburgh planted seeds of piety; wherefore, the holy Mildred, with Milburgh, Mildgyth, Ethelred and Ethelbert, delighted to cry: Let us chant unto our God, for He hath been glorified!
Offering up tears for thy father¹s great sin of murder, O Mildred, yet didst thou rejoice that thy brethren had joined the ranks of the martyrs; and now thou singest with them on high: Let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified!
Theotokion: Untouched was thy pure womb by any stain of carnal desire, O holy Virgin; wherefore, the Word from everlasting, in His love for mankind, deigned to dwell therein, that we all may cry: Let us sing unto our God, for He hath been glorified!
Irmos: Holy art Thou, O Lord our God! Make steadfast our hearts, that we may cry to Thee without ceasing: There is none righteous save Thee, O Lord!
Sorrowful, the king freed thy saintly mother from her marriage vows, and sent her with Mildred to Thanet, to found a convent wherein the constant prayer might be offered for him: There is none righteous save Thee, O Lord!
Mild of manner and easy of temperament, Mildred was a stranger to malice and envy, crying out without ceasing: There is none righteous save Thee, O Lord!
In thy pure mouth did no calumny or falsehood dwell, O saint, for God made thy heart steadfast in Him; wherefore, thou criest without ceasing: There is none righteous save Thee, O Lord!
Theotokion: Let us lift up our voices in praise of our all-immaculate Mistress, the Mother of God, O ye Christians,; for among women there is none more blessed than she.
Sessional hymn, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: Awed by the beauty of thy virginity
Neither a wrangler nor a deceiver wast thou, O kindly Mildred, but wast unfailingly merciful to widows and orphans, a true comfort to the poor and afflicted; wherefore, thou standest before the throne of God, offering up divine supplications in behalf of our souls.
Glory, Now and ever: Theotokion
O pure and unwedded Virgin Theotokos, thou only intercessor and protection of the faithful: from misfortunes, tribulations and evil circumstances deliver all who set their hope on thee; and by thine entreaties save thou our souls.
The unblemished ewe-lamb, beholding the Lamb and Shepherd hanging dead upon the Tree, exclaimed, weeping and maternally crying: How shall I endure Thy condescension and voluntary passion which surpasseth understanding, O my Son, mine all-good God?
Irmos: Perceiving the inscrutable counsel of God,‹the Incarnation of Thee, the Most High, from the Virgin, the Prophet Habbakuk cried aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
Desiring that thou learn all the ways of devotion, O holy one, thy saintly mother sent thee to the convent at Chelles, where thou didst learn to sing: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
Refuge didst thou seek in Millam of Flanders, O saint, spurning the attentions of noble suitors; for thy sole desire was to chant: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
Ermenburgh, mother and abbess, sent Mildred to Theodore of Canterbury, for him to invest with the angelic habit, that she might ever chant: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
Theotokion: Deified by the grace of God Who ineffably made His abode in thine all-holy womb, O Ever-virgin, thou movest us all to cry unto Him: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
Irmos: Shine forth upon me the light of Thy precepts, O Lord, for my spirit riseth early unto Thee and hymneth Thee: for Thou art our God, and I flee to Thee, O King of peace.
Adorned with tranquillity of soul, O holy Mildred, thou wast illumined by the precepts of the Lord; wherefore, ever rising early, thou didst cry: I flee to Thee, O King of peace!
Be thou a guide for us to the the straight and narrow path, O Mildred most rich, that, rising early, we may cry out to Christ: We flee to Thee, O King of peace!
In our poverty and affliction, amid sickness of soul and body, we cry out to Mildred our good mediatress: Shine forth upon us the radiant precepts of the Lord!
Theotokion: Divine rays of grace dawn upon us as we rise early to praise thee. Yea, we flee to thee, O Queen of peace, for thou intercedest ever in behalf of us sinners.
Irmos: I have come unto the depths of the sea, and the tempest of my many sins hath engulfed me; but, as God, lead up my life from the abyss, O greatly Merciful One.
Engulfed are we by the tumults of our offenses, and the fleet of our souls are sinking in the deep of our sins. Rescue us from the abyss, O Mildred, by thine entreaties.
Tempest-tossed am I by the storm of my transgressions, and the billows of my sins overwhelm me. Save me, lest I perish, O venerable one; for thou art truly merciful.
Having slid into the slough of despondency, unable to escape the mire of our ungodly deeds, in our distress we beg the holy Mildred to lead up our life from the abyss.
Theotokion: Nourishing at thy breast Him Who sustaineth the whole universe, O Virgin Mother, thou didst receive the grace to save sinners from the abyss, O merciful Maiden.
Kontakion, in Tone I
The Isle of Thanet aboundeth with thy grace, O Mildred merciful and mild, for there thou didst tend well the lambs entrusted to thy care, feeding them upon the verdant grass of the virtues, and giving them to drink of the still waters of piety. Wherefore, the radiance of thy holiness shineth forth from Minster, enlightening all England, O venerable mother, and filling our souls with light divine.
Ikos: Minster-in-Thanet rejoiceth greatly, for the relics of its holy abbess, having been released like the dove of Noah, have returned thereto as a token of God¹s mercy and forgiveness. Wherefore, O ye who love the saints of the Church of Christ, let us hasten to Mildred’s sacred reliquary and bow down before her precious remains, which emit the splendors of sublime radiance, filling our souls with light divine.
Irmos: O Word Who art without beginning, only-begotten Son, Who didst exist in the beginning with the Father and the Spirit: Blessed and supremely exalted art Thou, O God of our fathers!
O handmaid of the Word from everlasting, by the rigours of the ascetic life thou didst scale the heights of the virtues, saying: Blessed and supremely exalted art Thou, O God of our fathers!
With patience didst thou wait patiently, O venerable Mildred; wherefore, God brought thee before His throne, where thou criest: Blessed and supremely exalted art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Imbued with the knowledge of God more than thy peers, O glorious one, thou wast welcomed by the bishops of Kent into their councils, where they availed themselves of thy great wisdom.
Theotokion: Nestorius the accursèd belittled thy place in the divine economy, O Virgin Mother, and disdained to call Theotokos thee who gavest birth to the supremely exalted God of our fathers.
Irmos: The cherubim and seraphim stand before Thee in flames of fire, O Lord, and all creation singeth unto Thee a beauteous song: O ye people, hymn, bless and supremely exalt Christ, the one Creator, forever!
Praise do we offer to Mildred our venerable mother, who standeth with the cherubim before the Lord of all, crying unto us: O ye people, hymn, bless and supremely exalt Christ, the one Creator, forever!
Attaining the end of thine earthly life, O venerable mother, thou didst give thy pure soul into the hands of thy Creator, and dwellest now with the seraphim and all the angels, exalting Him supremely forever.
Remembering thy great maternal love, the nuns of Minster shed copious tears of lamentation as they interred thine honored body by the grave of thy saintly mother, committing it to everlasting rest.
Theotokion: All our hope do we set on thee, after God, O most glorious and all-pure Maiden, and with spiritual songs we hymn, bless and supremely exalt thee among all generations, as thou didst foretell in truth.
Irmos: The ineffable hidden mystery of God is revealed in thee, O all-pure Virgin; for God hath become incarnate of thee in His loving-kindness. Wherefore, we magnify thee as the Theotokos.
Devoutly did the saintly Edburgh, thy successor, bear thy sacred remains into the new church she had built for the Convent of Minster, O holy one, to be the magnificent ornament thereof.
Impelled by his veneration for thee, O Mildred, Canute the King had thy holy relics transferred to Canterbury, where they shone forth with splendour like magnificent jewels in a royal crown.
Sacrilege and blasphemy destroyed England’s shrines, according to the inscrutable mystery of God; yet He hath spared Mildred’s precious remains as a source of grace and healing.
Theotokion: Thou art ever glorious, O Mary Mother of Christ, for the ineffable mystery of God, hidden even from the angels, was revealed in thee: His incarnation in His surpassing love for mankind.
Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: Hearken, ye women
Hearken, all ye Christian women, and give ear to the godly precepts of our venerable mother Mildred, who, having filled her lamp with the oil of mercy and alms, hath now entered with gladness into the joy of Christ, her heavenly Bridegroom.
Rejoice, thou boast of the faithful, confirmation of the venerable! Rejoice, glory of the righteous! Rejoice, thou light of those in darkness! Rejoice, most holy temple! Rejoice, paradise of God! Rejoice, loosing of the curse, O blessed Mary!
Aposticha stichera; and Glory: Idiomelon, in Tone VI
Come, ye faithful of these latter times, and though our love hath grown cold, let us warm our souls with the zeal of our venerable mother; for the fervor of grace is ever emitted by her sacred bones, thawing the frozen ground of our hearts, that the seed of faith which hath been sown therein may put forth the grain of the virtues, to please Christ, the Lord of the harvest.
Now & ever: Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: On the third day
Seeing Thee crucified, O Christ, she who gave thee birth cried out: What is this strange mystery which I behold, O my Son? How is it that Thou diest, suspended upon the Tree in the flesh, O Bestower of Life?
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 Abraham¹s 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.
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.