The 3rd Day of the Month of November
Commemoration of the Holy Infant Rumwold
by Rumwold Leigh
AT LITTLE VESPERS
At ‘Lord, I have cried’, 4 stichira in Tone IV:
Bold and glorious as thy name and noble as thy lineage,* thou, O Rumwold,* hast shown forth grace in deeds beyond the compass of man.* Pray that we too may bear that grace* from this day and unto the end of our life.
Born to be king but united with the one King* thou hast shown forth the glory that puts all kings to shame.* Pray, O holy Rumwold,* that we too may be found worthy of the kingdom.
O wonder of wonders!* Praise is perfected out of the mouths of babes and sucklings.* O wonder of wonders!* The Spirit gives utterance through the child set in our midst.* O teacher of all, holy Rumwold, * pray that thy purity may be ours.
Confounding the wise with the grace of God* making all foolish with thy wisdom* that is not of this world but is from above* thou didst return whither thou didst never depart.* O holy Rumwold,* pray that we too may return to the innocence wherein we were born.
Glory… Now and ever:
Having borne our salvation, O Most Pure One,* we beseech thee as thy children* begging of thee to bring us to thy Son* and the measure of his godhood and manhood.* Teach us to rejoice in the Most High* through the beauty of divine compassion.
At the Aposticha, in Tone VIII:
As a babe thou didst speak with boldness of the glory of God* to the faithful and learned who denied the power thereof.* Instruct us by thy confession* to witness to our Saviour Christ.
Verse: The Lord preserveth the proselytes* He shall receive the orphan and widow.
Endowed with perfect knowledge not of this world* thou didst know no other as is proper to a man.* Wise beyond thy years* teach us that purity is wisdom.
Verse: The Lord setteth aright the fallen,* the Lord loveth the righteous.
What the eye cannot see, what the mind cannot comprehend,* is both seen and comprehended in thee, O Rumwold.* Teach us that all our gifts* reach their fulfilment in the Lord.
Glory… Now and ever:
Unto thee O Mother of all, we cry aloud,* as faithless ones who have sold our trust in thee for the sake of imagination.* O constant intercessor with thy Son* vouchsafe us His mercy.
Troparion, Tone IV:
Great is thy confession, O holy infant,* and great as our wonder is our praise of thee.* Glorious is thine utterance, O giver of wisdom,* and glorious the Spirit from Whom thy wisdom hath come down.* O Holy Rumwold,* intercede with Christ God, that He may save the souls that He hath made.
AT GREAT VESPERS
At ‘Lord, I have cried”, 8 stichira in Tone IV:
O Rumwold, witness of the power on high*, sent to show this forth to the earth below* pray to the Lord Jesus Christ our God* that He may grant us grace to know for ourselves* the boldness and glory granted unto thee* and thus to know and emulate thee.
O Rumwold, boldness of the glory of creation,* unlettered utterer of words beyond words,* we sink in our shame at our unwillingness* to break the bonds of our minds cast into hell.* O harbinger of the possible, bring us to know thee.
Mute in astonishment were thy parents at thy birth* and sore amazed were the priests at thy baptism.* May we come to understand that we belong to the grace of God* and have no other purpose* than to bear this grace in the world.
Simple was thy mission, though beyond all understanding,* and having fulfilled it there was no need to tarry.* Likewise the beginning and the end of every man* is to be what he should be.* Pray for us, O holy Rumwold, that our witness may be whole.
That which we see through a glass darkly* thou seest face to face.* That which the hearts of the faithful desired thou didst exemplify, O holy Rumwold*, do thou help us to grow* to the measure of thine infancy.
Like unto our Saviour thou didst arise on the third day* from the separation from life* to the victory over the curse of man that is the life above.* Imbue us with the same Spirit of truth* that this false life cannot overcome.
No life that has understood thy glory can remain unchanged, O Rumwold,* for all reason becometh unreason* and all pride in ourselves is shown forth as vanity.* Through the glory of thy bold confession prepare a place for those that confess thee.
No words can tell of the majesty* of the surpassing of the race of man* in a weak and new-born child needful of nothing.* We beseech that weak and frail as we are* we understand the glory to which we too were born.
Glory Tone I:
How unsearchable are Thy ways, O Lord!* Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise.* Let us now perfect our praise of Thy holy infant Rumwold,* confessor as babe of the grace that perfecteth man.
Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God in Tone IV:
O All-praised Mother of God,* wash the uncleanness from our passionate hearts* and the sores and wounds caused by passion:* cleanse and confirm our wandering minds,* that we, thy wretched and unprofitable servants* may magnify thy great power and protection.
Entrance, Joyful Light, Prokimenon of the Day.
Readings: Isaiah 29, 9-24; I Chronicles 16, 7-36; Deuteronomy 11, 1-12
At the Lity, in Tone VI:
O thou who didst live wholly in Christ* and didst show forth to all that the meaning of thy life* is to be that which is not possible for man,* for all things are possible only with God:* show us the folly of our love of our weakness* and lead us to thy grace through the conquest of our sins.
Glory: Bold in thy confession of what all full grown know not* and glorious in thy speaking when yet new born* thou didst remain that which thou art* that we may come to be other.
Now and ever: As a mother thou didst rejoice at thy giving of life* and as Mother of the Most High thou dost rejoice in the Saviour.* Pray for us likewise, O Good One,* that we may live as we ought, like unto thee.
At the Aposticha, in Tone VIII:
Let us all confess with boldness the glory of thy holiness* as though born again in Christ* and rise through thine example to a higher life.* O holy Rumwold the confessor, renew us daily forever.
The Lord preserveth the proselytes,* He shall receive the orphan and widow.
Thou who didst exchange the selfish pleadings of babes* for the wondrous confession of our saving Faith.* Thou who didst turn around the world, O Rumwold,* turn our worldly hearts beyond turning.
The Lord setteth aright the fallen, * the Lord loveth the righteous.
In fulfilment of high purposes beyond our own purposings* thou didst come and answer forever* the questions we should never have asked.* It is ours to receive and love* and thine to be the means to bestow.
Glory: As a new creation thou didst come forth,* as a new creation thou didst wholly live.* Though we crush purity with curiosity* we are freed by thy life,* O confessor of Christ our Life.
Now and ever: Thou didst confess thy Son as God, O Birthgiver of God,* with a love surpassing all earthly loves.* O Most Holy Mother of God rejoice,* for in thee do we place our hope.
Troparion Tone IV:
Great is thy confession, O holy infant,* and great as our wonder is our praise of thee.* Glorious is thine utterance, O giver of wisdom,* and glorious the Spirit from Whom thy wisdom hath come down.* O Holy Rumwold, intercede with Christ God,* that He might save the souls that He hath made.
At ‘God is the Lord’, the Troparion of the Saint twice, Glory… Now and ever, and the Hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone.
After the first reading from the Psalter Sessional Hymn Tone IV:
Thou restest with the righteous, O wondrous saint,* Whose insensible wisdom has no purpose but Christ.* Having shone forth in passing through the world of men* thy star shineth forever in the Kingdom of God.* May the glory of thy works that are greater than men, O Rumwold,* shine with great boldness through our lives of men.
Glory… Now and ever… Hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone:
O pure, spotless and unwedded Bride* who alone didst give birth in time to the Eternal Son and Word of God:* together with the holy Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets and Monastics,* beseech Him to grant us purification and great mercy.
After the second reading from the Psalter, Sessional Hymn Tone IV:
As the camel could not pass through the eye of the needle* so the word of God could not sound upon the lips of a babe.* As salvation remaineth possible with God, and God alone,* so the grace that is thine own hast shown us ways past understanding.* The corruptible flesh is transfigured with splendour, O Rumwold,* and all men are glorified through the wonder that is thine.
Glory… Now and ever… Hymn to the Mother of God:
O most pure Virgin who alone didst bear the Creator,* who alone hast adorned mankind with thy childbirth,* deliver us from the snares of deceitful Belial,* establish us on the rock of desire for Christ,* and pray to Him Who was incarnate of thee.
We magnify thee, we magnify thee,* O Rumwold the three day wonder,* and we honour thy holy memory* for thou dost intercede for us* with the Lord Jesus Christ our God.
Selected Psalm (67:12): The Lord shall give speech with great power to them that bring good tidings.
Sessional Hymn, Tone IV:
As a beacon of the glory that a man may be* thou didst shine forth as a babe with all boldness* and after thine arising again on the third day* thou dost shine forth from the heavens to enlighten this benighted land.* As from life unto life* thy journey passed through this life * and the life of the way and truth for all mankind.
Glory … Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:
Heaven and earth are filled with thy radiance* O pure and immaculate Mother of all:* pray for us to thy Son and our God* that the light which enlighteneth all men* will enlighten us also* who contemplate thy transcendence of what all fail to be.
Gradual, First Antiphon of Tone IV, From my youth …
Prokimenon, Tone VII:
Precious in the sight of the Lord* is the death of His saints
Verse: What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath given unto me?
Let every breath. Gospel: John 14, 8-17.
After Psalm 50, Stichiron, Tone VI:
The wonder of the speaking babe* endowed with all wisdom from on high* scattereth the imagination of the proud* and exalteth the faith of the righteous.* Wherefore we hymn thee, O Rumwold,* as the fullness of man in the infirmity of a babe.
Canon Tone VI:
Acrostic: Rumwold of consummate grace we praise.
Irmos: When Israel walked on foot* across the sea as on dry land,* on seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, they cried*: let us sing to God a song of victory.
Rumwold, astonishment of angels and men, bold in thy glory and radiant of grace, thee do we praise and glorify, that we who remain here on earth, beholding thine entire and unwavering confession, will come to know the glory of God.
Raised on high by the power of the Most High, thou wast born as a man in the form of a babe with the wisdom of the ages to show forth Christ the Almighty One. O holy Rumwold, joy of the righteous, teach us the meaning of the name of the Children of God.
Glory: More than is possible for new-born babe or the wisest of the wise in the wisdom of the world, words proceeded from thy grace-bearing lips to exclaim, that man may be other and yet remain man, through the grace of the almighty, all-wise God through whom all is possible and all is fulfilled.
Now: We praise thine immaculate birth-giving, O Good One, as children of thy Son and sons of thy Child. As our shelter and refuge, never cease thy care and intercession to thy Son and God that all may be born again in Him.
Irmos: There is none holy as Thou, O Lord my God,* Who hast exalted the power of Thy faithful, O Good One,* and strengthened us on the rock of Thy confession.
O bearer of grace, O vessel of the Spirit, through power not thine own thou didst proclaim the name of the royal race to which all men are called. As one royal in birth and deed, O Rumwold, help us to come unto thy dispensation.
Lit by the radiance of the Lord of hosts, knowing of no other purpose but He, thou didst ask for that mysterious union with Him that confirms the reality of the grace of thy life. Through the light of the life of the Spirit, O Rumwold, lead us likewise to confirm the truth of the Word.
Glory: Asking for baptism in living water in streams of words of grace not possible other than in God, thou dost show forth the meaning of life in the Spirit, as in the body but out of the world. O Rumwold, clothed in the matter of a babe, transfigure the vanities of our imaginations.
Now and ever: O Immaculate One, the height of motherhood and womankind, enlighten through thy compassion the minds of men pitiful for our lack of understanding. Thou art the pillar of virtue, O Birthgiver of God, whom we beseech for our salvation.
Sessional Hymn Tone IV:
When we contemplate thy deeds, O marvellous one,* our distance from thy purity confoundeth the beams of thy glory,* and shamed at the strength of thy divine and entire purpose* the folly we have desired to become doth pain our hearts.* Helpless as babes before the fullness of thy life* we plead thee, O Holy Infant, forsake us not in our infirmity.
Glory … Now and ever … Hymn to the Mother of God:
Mother beyond mothers and beginning of true understanding,* let us come unto thee, O Birthgiver of God,* as our comfort and instructress,* that through thy prayers to thy Son for us sinners* we may henceforth grow in righteousness and wisdom.
Irmos: Christ is my power, my God and my Lord,* the holy Church divinely singeth,* crying with a pure mind,* keeping festival in the Lord.
Fear of thy glory and wonder at thy boldness overtook thy hearers, O grace-bearing one. Mute before thy wisdom, obedient before thy majesty, thy desires and their fulfilment became their own. As ones small before thee, O infant, we place our trust in God and thus show forth our weakness.
O come, let us understand that man in Christ can be as man with might beyond man. O come, let us know that by the shedding of all else we discover once more our first kingship. We praise thee, O Rumwold, the light of true wisdom, great in thine infancy and the brightness of thy will.
Glory: O Rumwold, confessor of the Faith, in thy person we honour the vanquishing of passion, in trampling the corruption of man thou dost bring the fiery hooves of grace in the gentleness of a babe. Unable to explain with our minds and hearts of sin, we learn to acknowledge, magnify and love.
Now and ever: Nothing can surpass the instruction thou didst give at Cana, O pure One, when thou didst say to the servants, that to serve was to obey the Saviour. And in full obedience wrought by what is right, we likewise honour thee, O Virgin, as Mother of our God and perfection of all love.
Irmos: Enlighten with Thy divine Light,* I pray, O Good One,* the souls of those who with love rise early to pray to Thee,* that they may know Thee, O Word of God,* as the true God Who recalleth us from the darkness of sin.
Swathed in bands as was the Saviour, thou didst descend into the laver of regeneration and didst unite thyself with His love. O Rumwold, our fellow citizen of God, bestow on us thy likeness.
Raised on high by thy sponsor, thou didst raise up all by being one with the weakest of the faithful. O Rumwold, pray that we too may be found worthy of immersion in the Lord.
Glory: Most unworldly of mortals, yet instructor of us all, let our unredeemed souls contemplate thee who wast already where thy baptism gave thee leave to go. O sharer of our infirmities, help us to share also in thy glory.
Now and ever: O Mother of the Most Pure Saviour, who takest thy life as do we all from thy Son, pray that we may learn how the Spirit may descend in the waters of Baptism upon all men, as manifestation of the grace and love of which thou art the example most supreme.
Irmos: Beholding the sea of life* surging with the flood of temptations,* I run to Thy calm haven and cry to Thee:* raise me up from corruption,* O most merciful one.
At thy bold confession of our saving Faith the already awestruck were confounded anew. For they had conceived of limits to thy wonder not daring to tempt their faith in God. O Rumwold, in whom the heavens rejoice, now let the earth be glad.
All the truth a man may learn was revealed in thee, who did not need to learn a thing in order to come to the fulfilment in deed of all the knowledge a man may possess. O miraculous infant, teach us the substance of the gift of God.
Glory: Eternally confessing the Saviour in the heavens, thou dost continue forever where thou hadst begun. Thou dost show that other eternities will not exist for those united to the Saviour in word, thought and deed. O holy infant of pristine beauty, help us to make our whole lives as single as our God.
Now and ever: Good shepherdess of the faithful who seek to know thy Son, grant that through thine intercession we may confess in our conquest of sin the one abiding Saviour in the one abiding truth.
Kontakion, Tone II:
Thy three days of life were life indeed,* born with confession of the Faith on thy lips,* and after unceasing confession of that Faith by word and deed*, thou didst ascend to the Father.* O holy Rumwold, miraculous infant,* pray that we who hymn thee may receive like mercy.
Why dost thou wonder, O race of man, at the glory and boldness that belongeth to thee? What is possible and required of every man is accomplished in a three day old babe. Let us rather deny ourselves, and cry aloud to our fellow men that the weakest of all our offspring doth manifest the strength of the immortal. Rejoice, O man, in thy calling to the Kingdom of God whose true and unwavering servants can be the smallest and most unlearned. O holy Rumwold, miraculous infant, pray that we who hymn thee may receive like mercy.
Irmos: An Angel made the furnace to bedew on the holy children.* But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans* and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry aloud:* Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers.
Revealing in thy small form the Saviour’s boundless grace, thou didst compass in few sentences all that a man should know. O holy infant Rumwold, grant that we may likewise increase our lives to truth alone.
Age upon age the unfaithed have sought the things which thou didst confess in the wisdom of their years, not the purity of their hearts. Therefore, O Rumwold, thy preaching is intelligible only to those who desire incorruption.
Glory: Confessor in word and deed and preacher to priests and saints, thou dost show forth that the Spirit bloweth where It listeth and Its bearers can likewise do all. Help our unbelief, O Rumwold, by confirming that which all Christian hearts confess.
Now and ever: Every faithful tongue doth hymn thee, O Mother of God, as fulfilment of the prophecy of old which lay beyond the understanding of men but was made manifest through thy purity to the righteous. As most worthy of all, O All-pure One, beseech thy Son that we may comprehend such mercy.
Irmos: Thou didst make flame to sprinkle the saints with dew,* Thou didst burn the sacrifice of the righteous man with water.* For Thou alone, O Christ, doest all that Thou willest,* and Thee do we exalt throughout all ages.
Wonder upon wonder attended thee, O Rumwold, for announcing thine imminent repose thou didst return on the third day to the Saviour whence thou wast manifest. Teach us to trust and know that we should return that which we have been given.
Exaltation outshone lamentation at thy departing from this life, O Rumwold, for with utmost clarity thine election was manifest to all. Grant that we too may bear to others the grace of the certainties that have shone forth from thee.
Let us praise, bless and worship the Lord: Precious was thy life, O holy one, wondrous thy miracles and awesome thy mystery. Born in the image of God thou didst live and repose in Him. Teach us, O Rumwold, that there is nothing between simplicity and surpassing glory.
Now and ever: Rejoice, O Holy Mother, that in the form of Rumwold the babe, unquestioning obedience once again beareth majestic fruit. Heal, O All-Compassionate One, the despairing souls of the uncertain.
Irmos: It is not possible for men to see God,* upon Whom even the orders of angels dare not gaze,* but through thee, O all-pure One,* the Incarnate Word appeared to men,* and with the Heavenly Hosts we magnify Him, and call thee blessed.
According to thine instruction, O all-wise innocent, thou wast laid to rest and then twice translated, preserving the mystery of thy revelation. Thou who canst translate ignorance to understanding, reveal again that which we learn from thee.
In repose as in the body, thou didst show the impossible possible as the healing waters that sprang where thy bier did rest doth testify. As the righteous live forever, may thy wonders not cease.
Glory: Seekers of fable who flee from the truth, linger not here before the divine child of Christ, for He shattereth the idol of the wisdom of men whose demons mock you. Repent rather and rejoice, that such consummate grace is vouchsafed unto mortal men.
Now and ever: Eternal intercessor with thy Son and our God, Most Holy and Blessed of all born on earth, accept the imperfect prayer of thy servants that thou mayest present us before thy Son, as those who are committed with heart unfeigned to the truth that maketh man true.
Exapostilarion Tone VIII:
A light hath gone out into the world* and dazzleth the eyes of the blind* who once thought that they could see* but now see that their vision is naught.* The holy infant Rumwold hath come unto us* and the essence of pure faith is made manifest.
Glory … Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:
O joy of all the human race and mother of the Heavenly King* through whom we come to know and love a glory beyond our imagining* receive into thine arms the holy infant* who hath shown forth the glory of thy Son.
At the Praises: 4 stichera in Tone IV:
We praise Thy holy infant, O Saviour,* as manifestation of Thy glory, as depth of thy love* and exemplar of Thy compassion.* Through his prayers we seek that glory in him made manifest,* which Thou didst vouchsafe to those who hymn Thee in faith.
In thy bold confession, O Rumwold,* is the glory of the Lord revealed* for not in word only, but in mighty deed* did the glory belonging to God alone maketh thee a man, surpasser of men* while yet a babe, surpasser of babes.
Thou didst preach Christ, O holy infant,* not in word alone but in power of the Spirit,* showing the words of truth to be true* and the words we confess to have real existence.* O Rumwold, we praise thee,* as ones rescued from imagination by deed.
Words that lay beyond words* expressing the truth that lies beyond all truth* came forth from thee, O Rumwold,* when thy years did not permit.* Let us praise the Lord our God through thee,* for in Him there is no respect of persons.
Glory, in Tone V: Thou wast a dwelling-place of the Spirit* throughout thy brief earthly life* and Christ came with the Father and dwelt in thee.* O holy infant Rumwold*, favoured by the Consubstantial Trinity,* pray for our souls.
Now and ever: We praise thee, O Birthgiver of God,* as a mother who knew the glory of thy Son,* and didst come to understand the salvation thou hast brought to mankind.* O preservation of the Word, O All-pure One,* grant us likewise to turn away from sin.
Great Doxology. Troparia. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.
AT THE LITURGY
At the Beatitudes, 8 troparia from Odes III and VI of the Canon of the Confessor.
Prokimenon Tone VII:
Precious in the sight of the Lord* is the death of His saints:
Verse: What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath given unto me?
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans 8, 5-11
The Gospel according to St John 17, 20-26
A PRAYER TO ST. RUMWOLD
Teach us to know thee, O wondrous saint, who restest with the righteous in the Kingdom of God. Teach us to understand the grace with which thou wast endowed. Teach us to celebrate thy three days of life, the glory of thy speech, the boldness of thy confession. Teach us to venerate thy memory. Teach us to unite with the Saviour, preserve our purity and wholly to live in Him. Teach us to be, as thou art, a living confession of the glory of God, in word, thought and deed, indivisibly. Teach us that all things are possible with God. Teach us, O Rumwold, that we truly exist only in the Lord. Thee do we beseech to pray for us, that the Lord send down His Holy Spirit upon us, and call us to Himself in His heavenly mansions. For to Him do we send up all glory, honour and worship, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.