Service to the Holy Martyr Edward, King of England
Commemorated on 18 March
At Great Vespers
After the Introductory Psalm, we sing “Blessed is the man…”, the first antiphon.
At ” Lord, I have cried…”, eight stichera: four in Tone I –
As a most fruitful vine of the new vineyard of Christ, planted in thy land in the splendour of its enlightenment, thou didst shine forth in many virtues and wast pleasing unto God: wherefore, with praises we call thee blessed, O Edward, thou most pious king. (twice)
Travelling the royal way, O holy king, adorned with the love of Christ, the queen of virtues, thou didst watch over the poor and wretched, and didst visit the sick, rendering judgement and justice to thy people, O Edward, devout of God.
Thou didst give thy precious relics, like a great treasure, unto them that honour thy memory, O Edward. Wherefore, thou dost heal the divisions of them that have recourse to them, and by thine intercessions before God dost fulfil their petitions which are of profit.
And these stichera, in Tone II –
O Edward, the iniquitous took counsel against thee, likening themselves unto those who strived to slay the prophets of God, and they plotted thy murder, for they were not daunted by thy youth, nor by thy meek demeanour, nor yet by thy piety, but benighted through bitter hatred they followed the prompting of the devil. (twice)
Like Judas who betrayed Christ with a kiss, so the impious, plotting evils against thee and taking counsel with their retainers, with deceitful intent invite thee, O king, in full knowledge that they lead thee to slaughter.
What, then, did ye acquire, O foolish ones, who wrested the throne from the lawful king and placed his gory crown upon the head of another? For, lo! Edward shineth forth in the Kingdom of Heaven, adorned with a martyr’s crown, whilst ye, repenting in sackcloth and ashes, pray to receive his forgiveness and intercession.
Glory…, in Tone VIII –
It is not on a hunt that thou dost forth, O most innocent king, but thou art treacherously called to a council of the iniquitous; thus thou dost not encounter a wild beast, but receivest a cruel death at the hands of bestial rebels. Yet departing thine earthly kingdom, thou art crowned with a martyr’s crown and dost inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, making thine abode with the saints and the righteous.
Now and ever …: Theotokion, the Dogmaticon in the same tone.
At the Litia, the sticheron of the church, and this sticheron to the saint, in Tone IV –
Come ye, let us make haste to King Edward, he that was pleasing unto God, and who in the years of his youth received a martyr’s crown, that he may intercede for his people, ever standing before the Heavenly King, making unceasing supplication.
Glory …, in Tone VI –
Let the impious lament, rending their garments and hair, beholding thee, unjustly slain, O Edward, and glorified by God with miracles; for thou art vouchsafed a martyr’s crown, whilst they, mindful of their great guilt, and trembling before the impartial Judge, strive to cleanse their souls with repentance.
Now and ever …: Theotokion, in the same tone –
All who suffer sorrows in this earthly life thou dost meet and comfort, O pious Bride of God, bringing relief to them, and drying every tear from their eyes. Wherefore, help all that are in tribulation and suffering, granting them speedy deliverance, for thou art the ceasing of all grief.
At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone VIII: Special Melody.: “O most glorious wonder …”
O, most glorious wonder! O, providence divine! A most precious treasure, hidden beneath the earth to preserve it from mockery, is discovered in the fullness of time; for, lo! the holy relics of the martyred king are revealed as a new and much-healing wellspring for all that with faith bow down before them and glorify God Who is wondrous in His saints.
Verse: I have raised up one chosen out of My people.
O wondrous solemnity! O most joyful feast! For we celebrate the most splendid memorial of Edward the King, the merciful healer of the afflicted and the diseased, the defender of the orphaned, the consoler of the grieving, uprooter of irreverence and sower of piety, the bold intercessor and advocate for our generation.
Verse: With my holy oil have I anointed him.
O, the richness of the great wisdom of God! O, the providence of God! The holy relics of the martyred king are entrusted to the Church! Wherefore, let us now bow down with faith, calling upon the crowned passion-bearer in prayer: and let us fervently offer thanksgiving unto Christ God Who hath given us such a treasure and doth ever show forth His mercy to us.
Glory …, in Tone III
A valiant warrior who fought against incursions of the foe, thou didst array thyself yet more against sinful passions; and manifest as a glorious victor over both, clothing thyself with humble-mindedness as with a breastplate, thou didst render glory and honour unto Christ God.
Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone –
In accordance with the will of the Father, through the Divine Spirit thou didst without seed conceive the Son of God Who without mother was begotten before the ages of the Father. And for our sakes thou didst give birth in the flesh to Him Who was begotten of thee without father, and with milk thou didst nourish the Infant. Wherefore, cease not to pray that our souls be delivered from misfortune.
Troparion, in Tone IV –
Celebrating the newly-manifest commemoration of the holy King Edward who shone forth of old in the virtues and suffered undeservedly, and bowing down before his precious image, in gladness we cry out: Truly wondrous art Thou in Thy saint, O God!
Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone: “The mystery hidden from the ages …”
After the first reading of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone VII –
Passing the time of the fast in spiritual feats, O Edward, thou didst prepare thy soul for a worthy meeting with the holy Paschal Feast, the feast of feasts. But deprived of thy life on earth of a sudden, thou didst glorify the Resurrection of Christ in His Kingdom, joining chorus with angels and the righteous, watching over thy people from the Heavens.
Glory …, Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone –
Rejoice, O Virgin Birthgiver of God, full of grace, haven and intercession for the human race, for from thee is incarnate the Saviour of the world, for thou alone art Mother and Virgin, ever-blessed and most glorious. Beseech Christ our God to grant peace to all the world.
After the second reading of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone V –
Lo! spring hath blossomed forth on earth, marking the end of winter; and the celebration of the spiritual spring, the Resurrection of Christ, hath shone forth upon the world. But thy people, O King, are filled with grief, stricken by thine untimely end; wherefore, make haste and speedily comfort them, revealing to them that thou dwellest in the Kingdom of Heaven with the Risen Master, Who hath granted them to obtain thy sacred relics as pledge of thy care for them that love thee; that, fleeing unto them in reverence, they may receive gifts of healing.
Glory …, Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone –
O Birthgiver of God, Bride unwedded, thou that changed the grief of Eve into joy: we, the faithful, praise and bow down before thee, for thou didst lead us forth from the ancient curse. Pray now unceasingly, O all-hymned one, that we may be saved.
After the Polyeleos, this sessional hymn, in Tone VIII –
Having suffered death out of season, O blessed one, instead of the cup of treachery thou didst receive an unquaffed cup of joy from the hands of the Saviour. Now, therefore, delighting in the sight of Christ’s most radiant countenance at His banquet, pray that they that honour thee may through Him receive the Kingdom of Heaven.
Glory …, Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone –
O Mistress, accept the prayers of thy servants, and deliver us from all want and grief.
After Psalm 50, this sticheron, in Tone VI –
Though thou didst labour but a little while in the field of Christ, yet having laboured without sloth, thou didst receive the promised payment from the hand of God, and didst show thyself to be a faithful steward. Wherefore, thou hast entered into the joy of the Lord, and hast acquired boldness before Him, ever interceding for thy people.
Canon to the holy King Edward, the acrostic whereof is: “I hymn the memory of the pious King Edward”, in Tone VIII –
Irmos: Let us sing unto the Lord Who led His people through the Red Sea, for He alone hath gloriously been glorified.
Edward the King, who shone forth in piety and was glorified by God with many miracles, let us hymn with songs of divine beauty.
Now let the English land keep festival, and let the Church be glad, glorifying the memory of the divinely wise king.
Having suffered out of season a murder unrighteous, thou didst acquire boldness before God, O Edward. Wherefore, thou dost bestow healings upon them that honour thee.
Theotokion: The ranks of angels and the choirs of the righteous, monks and laymen, paupers and kings, together hymn the Birthgiver of God.
Irmos: Thou art the confirmation of them that flee to Thee, O Lord. Thou art the Light of the benighted, and my spirit doth hymn Thee.
Born in accordance with the providence of God, that thou mightest shine forth in the virtues and show forth an example of piety unto thy people, thou didst bring to a good end the short course of thy life.
To Christ, the King of all, thou wast a good and faithful servant who increased the talent given thee by Him, O wise King Edward. Wherefore, thou didst enter into the joy of thy Lord.
Like unto Abel who was slain in his innocence, thou didst endure unrighteous murder; yet deprived of thy fleeting life, thou now dost dwell in the mansions of Heaven.
Theotokion: The Virgin Birthgiver of God, Queen of Heaven and boast of earthly kings, unshaken pillar of the Church of Christ and unassailable rampart of the Kingdom of God, let us unceasingly hymn.
Sessional Hymn, in Tone III –
As said the pre-eminent Peter, in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is acceptable to Him; thus, from the ends of the earth, the saints and the righteous have entered into the Kingdom of Heaven. Wherefore, do thou also, O holy passion-bearer and king, partaking of everlasting joys together with them, now remember us that honour thee and cry out: Truly wondrous in Thy saints art Thou, O God!
Glory …, Now and ever …, Theotokion, in the same tone –
As an uncultivated vine, O Virgin, thou hast put forth the most comely Cluster of grapes Which poureth forth the wine of salvation for us, gladdening the souls and bodies of all. Wherefore, blessing thee as the cause of good things, with the Angel Gabriel we ever cry out to thee: Rejoice, O greatly joyous one!
Irmos: I have heard of the mystery of Thine Providence, O Lord; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy Divinity.
Emulating a lamb led to the slaughter, O holy Edward, thou didst not struggle against the evildoers that slew thee, but yielded up thy soul into the hands of God in a moment.
Celebrating thy joyous memory, we call thy wonders to mind, O Edward, for thou dost heal the leprous, the paralysed and them that are blind from birth by thy most bold supplications to Christ.
Desiring to glorify thee openly, Christ God bestowed healing power upon thy precious relics, that, beholding the miracles worked thereby, the pious people might praise the Lord for ever.
Theotokion: The divine prophets have announced thee, O Birthgiver of God; the apostles have proclaimed thee; the martyrs have confessed thee, and the divine minstrels and the venerable have hymned thee in songs of beauty divine.
Irmos: Waking early, I cry to Thee: Save me, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee!
A divine light enlightened the woman who was blind from birth when she touched thy body, O King Edward. Wherefore, her eyes were opened, and she glorified God and thine assistance.
Thy tomb hath been shown to be a wellspring of healings for all that have recourse to it and call upon thee in prayer, O king, beseeching enlightenment and consolation.
Open thou the eyes of our hearts, O Edward who gavest light to the eyes of the blind woman, that we may perceive God’s most wise providence concerning us, and glorify his power.
Theotokion: Let us not fall idle in our unceasing praise of her that is more honourable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, gazing with the eyes of our minds upon her greatness, and magnifying her loving-kindness with ardent heart and love divine.
Irmos: As Thou didst deliver the prophet from the nethermost abyss, O Christ our God, as Thou art the Lover of mankind deliver me from my sins, and direct my life, I beseech Thee.
When the impious learned of the uncovering of thy relics and of the miracles which had come to pass, O Edward, they desired to fall prostrate in repentance before them, but the power of the Lord forbade them.
With other kings, thou didst bring glory to the Heavenly Jerusalem, O Edward, laying at the feet of the Lord the twofold crown of kingship and martyrdom, and receiving fitting honour from Him.
Thou didst escape the vile pit of destruction, rendering justice and righteousness and feeding the wretched, claiming for thyself a throne of royal honour, O Edward most wise and right glorious.
Theotokion: May they that do not honour thee as the Birthgiver of God be clothed with shame and confusion, denounced by all creation which unceasingly doth hymn thee.
Kontakion, in Tone IV –
Celebrating the memory of the holy Edward today, and honouring his bright image, let us radiantly weave a wreath of hymns for the twice-crowned king and passion-bearer, crying out to him with fervour: Never cease to beseech Christ our God, that He establish thy homeland in the Orthodox Faith!
Ikos: Lo! the fullness of time is come! Arise, ye Christian people, and, putting off your sackcloth, gird yourselves in gladness, heaping not ashes upon your heads, but joining chorus in God. For behold! the righteous Judge, Who seeth all things, mindful of His mercies and compassion, and wishing to fill the dried-up wellspring of piety with life-bearing streams, hath disclosed unto us the relics of His favourite and passion-bearer, Edward the King, which for many years lay hidden beneath the earth; for when the tempest of persecution was raised against the saints of God by impiety and the holy shrines were destroyed, they were buried in the convent of the Mother of God as a priceless treasure, and there they remained even until these days. But now, through the providence and good pleasure of God, the holy relics are once more given to the faithful, and again the light of Orthodoxy shineth forth in the English land. Wherefore, stand fair adorn thyself, O England, thou land of kings! And all ye that dwell therein, rejoice, crying out to the blessed King Edward, whom the King of kings would fain glorify: Cease not to beseech Christ our God, that He return thy homeland to the Orthodox Faith!
Irmos: O Lord God of our fathers, Who in the beginning founded the earth and established the heavens by a word: blessed art Thou unto the ages.
Having fought against the foe, and battling the passions yet more, thou wast shown to be a victor over both: but conquered by humility thou didst render glory unto God, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
The ranks of angels and the choirs of the righteous, accompanying the holy king who is received into the Kingdom of Christ, hymn God Who is wondrous in His saints, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O God.
Departing the sin-loving world out of season, thou didst reach the heavenly home, O Edward, where thou dost pray unceasingly to the blessed God of thy fathers on behalf of thine earthly homeland.
Theotokion: Fearing not the fiery furnace, the children that prefigured thee, O Virgin, cried out in thanksgiving concerning thee: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Irmos: The Lord Who was glorified on the holy mount and Who revealed the mystery of the Ever-Virgin in the fiery bush, hymn and supremely exalt ye unto all ages!
Celebrating the memory of the divinely honoured king, and marvelling at the wonders that have been wrought by him, rejoicing in God we cry aloud: Hymn ye the Lord, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Having vanquished all the wiles of hades and put to shame the schemes of the impious, called to the Heavenly Kingdom thou didst sing, O holy king: Hymn ye the Lord, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Bowing down before thy precious image and calling upon thy name in prayer, O Edward most God-loving king, we hymn the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Theotokion: To men thou didst reveal Him upon Whom the angels dare not gaze. Reveal to us also His ineffable mercy, that we may exalt thee supremely for all ages.
Irmos: Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, we confess thee to be the true Birthgiver of God, magnifying thee with the bodiless choirs.
Thou pourest forth healings and receivest the prayers of the faithful, earnestly praying for them that honour thy memory; wherefore, O Edward, we thankfully magnify thee.
Thy memory is glorious and thy rest is with the saints, for thou dost ever stand before the throne of God. Wherefore, we magnify Christ Who gaveth thee to the people as a new intercessor.
From the East even unto the West the Orthodox Faith doth reach. Wherefore, the saints of God are glorified throughout the world.
Theotokion: Thy kinswoman Elizabeth hath taught us to cry out to thee, O all-pure Birthgiver of God: blessed art thou among women and blessed is Christ, the Fruit of thy womb, Whom we magnify unceasingly.
Meet it was for thee, who beheld the unwaning Light, to show thy first miracle through light, O most blessed king; for, lo! a heavenly light enlightened the house wherein the impious had concealed thy body, and the eyes of the woman blind from birth were opened, and giving thanks unto God she cried out: Wondrous art Thou, O Lord, Who hast revealed to us Thy new favourite!
Glory …, Now and ever …, Theotokion –
Thou coverest all the earth with thy radiant stole and dost embrace the whole world with thy love, O Birthgiver of God, and receivest the prayers and entreaties of all that call upon thee, and dost help all before the throne of thy Son, for He hath given thee to man as an intercessor forever.
At the Praises, these stichera, in Tone II –
Thou dost abide with pious kings in the Heavenly Kingdom, with the fasters and ascetics thou art praised, with the martyrs thou art glorified, and with all the righteous thou art blessed, O glorious Edward. (twice)
Earnestly we bow down before thine image, celebrating the commemoration of thine untimely end; and mindful of the wonders worked thereby, we ask thine aid and assistance, O Edward, thou righteous king.
O thou that with martyr’s blood didst adorn thy royal raiment more than with purple and amethyst, and who hath received a crown of suffering from the hand of God, thou didst recline at the banquet of Christ with the elect. Pray thou, O Edward, for our souls.
Glory …, in Tone VI –
Lo! the time is shortened: judgement is at the gates! Lo! the souls of the slain cry out for the justice of God: How long, O Lord, dost Thou not avenge our blood? But they are instructed to wait patiently until the number of the saved is justified and the mystery of iniquity is revealed; then the Judge will come, Who will render unto each according to his deeds. Thou, O most blessed king, shalt receive the portion of the blessed. Wherefore, beseech Christ the Master, that we may be vouchsafed a place at His right hand.
Now and ever …, Theotokion –
O Birthgiver of God and Queen who dost open the portals of God’s loving-kindness unto us, do thou pray to thy Son on our behalf.
At the Divine Liturgy
At the Beatitudes, eight troparia: four from Ode III and four from Ode VI.
Prokimenon, in Tone VII –
The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.
Verse: Hearken, O God, unto my prayer, when I make supplication unto Thee.
Epistle to Timothy, Section 292 (II Tim. 2: 1-10).
Alleluia, in Tone IV –
Verse: The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.
Verse: They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God shall they blossom forth.
Gospel according to Luke, Section 63 (Luke 12: 2-7).
Communion Verse –
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be, he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.