Return to Home Page

The 23rd Day of the Month of June
Commemoration of our Holy Mother Audrey, Abbess of Ely

At Vespers

At 'Lord, I have cried', 3 stichira in Tone VIII:

Thou, O Virgin Queen, hast suffered the pains of ascetic struggle and thus gained grace through the necklace of thy virtues, to heal diseases of both body and soul, to drive out demons and protect all those that suffer: O venerable Mother Audrey, do thou pray for us that we may obtain healing and great mercy.

In times of old the mere touch of thy burial robes bestowed sight on the blind and healing on the sick who faithfully beseeched thine aid. Now, O holy and venerable Mother Audrey, boast of Ely, do thou pray for us in thy noble strength that we may obtain great mercy.

Fruit of the pious King Anna, together with thy holy family, thou wast fervent with the love of God in all purity and modesty and merciful to thy neighbour, O Blessed and venerable Mother Audrey. Therefore God endowed thee with the noble strength of grace and others, both men and women, followed thee: do thou beseech Christ to preserve in the Faith those who call thee blessed.

Glory, Tone II:

With the sword of abstinence thou didst sever spiritual snares and bodily passions, and with the silence of prayer and fasting thou didst strangle all sinful thoughts, with the streams of thy tears thou didst water the whole fenland desert and cause fruits of repentance to grow in thine island-monastery, wherefore, O holy Audrey, we celebrate thy holy memory.

Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

O Mother of God, save thy servants from dangers, for, after God, we all flee to thee as an indestructible rampart and protection.

Hymn to the Cross and the Mother of God:

When the spotless lamb beheld her Child being dragged as a man willingly to the slaughter, she cried out through her tears: Dost thou seek to make me childless who gave Thee birth, O Christ? Why hast Thou done so, O Saviour of us all? Yet I praise and glorify Thine ineffable goodness, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

If there is a Polyeleion, then the Sunday Hymn to the Mother of God in Tone VI: 'The shadow of the law …'

Entrance, Joyful Light, Prokimenon of the Day.

Readings: Wisdom of Solomon 3, 1-9; Wisdom of Solomon 5, 15-23 and 6, 1-3; Wisdom of Solomon 4, 7, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 5, 1-7.

At the Aposticha, in Tone I:

Thou didst desire the glory of the holy fathers and mothers, thou didst love incorruptible glory. Therefore, a Queen among men and twice Virgin-spouse, renouncing worldly pleasure and subjecting thy body to ascetic warfare, thou hast obtained the reward of thy labours and dost reign with Christ the King, O noble Audrey.

Verse: God is wonderful in His Saints, the God of Israel.

Together with thy holy sisters, thou, O Virgin-Queen, didst desire the fair beauty of Christ thy Bridegroom with good deeds and, adorned with the labours of the ascetic life, thou didst strive to attain to Him, wherefore thou now dost reign with Christ the King in His glory.

Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints.

Thou didst set course for the heavenly haven and calmly sail over the stormy oceans of the world. Without foundering thou didst pilot thy soul's ship through the bitterness of sweet things, filled with the secret treasures of renunciation and heavenly life in word and deed.

Glory, Tone VI:

O holy Mother Audrey who art praised by all, this day thy sacred festival shineth forth brighter than the sun, enlightening those in darkness and driving away the gloom of the demons from the fenlands and from our souls.

Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God, or this Hymn to the Cross and the Mother of God also in Tone VI:

When the Mother who gave Thee birth saw Thee crucified, O Christ, she cried: What is this strange mystery, O my son? How dost Thou die, crucified, O Giver of Life?

Troparion Tone VIII:

In thee the Image of God was preserved, O noble Audrey, for thou didst take up thy cross and follow Christ. Royal virgin, thou didst teach the multitude by thine example that the flesh is to be scorned as fleeting, while the soul needeth great care as immortal. Wherefore, O holy Audrey, thou dost now make glad with the angels.

At Matins

At 'God is the Lord', the Troparion of the Saint twice, Glory…Now and ever, and the Hymn to the Mother of God or to the Cross and the Mother of God in the same tone.

After the first reading from the Psalter, Sessional Hymn Tone V:

Thou didst valiantly persevere in ascetic feats and defeat the devil with his many snares, O holy Audrey. After thy life of hardship thou art now gone to God, praying for those who reverently celebrate thy festival.

Glory …Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone:

O sinless Virgin Mother, shine down rays of repentance upon me, scatter the darkness of my wicked deeds and drive away all thought of evil from my heart.

After the second reading from the Psalter, Sessional Hymn Tone IV:

Though crowned on earth, thou didst crucify thy body with its passions and love Christ thy Bridegroom with all thy heart, O Audrey, wherefore thou wast crowned in heaven, and numbered among the choirs of Angels, ever praying for those who honour thee.

Glory… Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

The storm of sins striketh me, as doth the tempest of my sinful thoughts, have compassion upon me, O pure one, and graciously stretch forth thy hand to help me that, saved, I may magnify thee.

The Magnification:

We magnify thee, O holy Mother Audrey, and we honour thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us to Christ our God.

Verse: I waited and waited for the Lord, and He attended to me and heard my prayer.

Sessional Hymn, Tone VIII:

O Mother chosen by God, thou hast passed calmly through the storms of life and been piloted to Paradise, now do thou praise the Redeemer with the Angels, that He may grant us grace and great mercy and preserve the flock which through thy labours thou didst bring unto Him.

Glory … Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

Rejoice, thou who through the Archangel didst receive the Joy of all the world; Rejoice, thou who didst give birth to thy Creator and Lord; Rejoice, thou who wast made worthy to become the Mother of God.

Gradual, First Antiphon of Tone IV, 'From my youth…'

Prokimenon, Tone IV:

God is wonderful in His Saints, the God of Israel.

Verse: Bless God in the churches, praise the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

Let every breath. Gospel: Matt 25, 1-13.

After Psalm 50, Sticheron Tone II:

With the sword of abstinence thou didst sever spiritual snares and bodily passions, and with the silence of prayer and fasting thou didst strangle wrongful thoughts; with the streams of thy tears thou didst water the whole fenland desert and cause fruits of repentance to grow in thine island-monastery, wherefore, O holy Audrey, we celebrate thy holy memory.

Canon Tone VIII:

Ode I

Irmos: By parting the sea with the sign of the Cross, the miraculous rod of Moses drowned the pursuing chariots of Pharaoh, and saved fleeing Israel who marched on, singing to God.

My soul is continually drowned by the storm of passions and stirred by the clamour of evil thoughts: O holy Audrey, do thou guide me through the trackless fens of the demons to the still haven of Christ's will, that I may hymn thee worthily.

Thou wast enlightened with the virtues of virginity, O godly Audrey. With prayer and fasting thou didst put thy passions to death and follow in the life-bringing footsteps of the pure Word thy true Bridegroom.

O holy and glorious Audrey, amid the barren fen thou didst follow the teaching of the holy fathers and mothers, and live like the Bodiless Ones, in prayer and fasting, in purity and virginity, in true humility, and thus thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold.

Glory … Now and ever:

Thou art the divine vessel and table who hast borne the Bread of Life; thou art the unploughed land and holy mountain, and we glorify thee in hymns, O Mother of God.


Irmos: O Lord, Creator of the vault of heaven and Builder of the Church, strengthen me in Thy love, O summit of desire, O bulwark of the faithful, O Thou alone Who lovest mankind.

Though men sought thee as their Queen, the Almighty had chosen thee as His Bride, and now thou dwellest with Christ the King in glory in the heavenly mansions. From there thou makest streams of healing to stem the flowing of our passions.

Instead of necklaces and fine jewellery, thou wast adorned with the love of Christ, Who in His abundant compassion, though rich became poor; thou hast followed His Life-bringing words, despising all earthly riches and glory and thus hast become noble in soul.

Thou didst acquire golden wings of virtue, O Blessed Audrey, and as an immortal dove thou hast flown up to the heights of heaven from the desolate fenlands through the noble strength of prayer.

Glory … Now and ever:

O Virgin, our race hath been saved through Him Who for our sakes became poor in His Body which He took from thy womb: wherefore we praise and bless thee, O most pure grace-filled Maiden.

Sessional Hymn Tone IV:

As Christ's virgin and undefiled bride thou art adorned with ascetic feats; thou hast entered the incorruptible chamber with Him, contemplating its beauties. Do thou beseech Him for us who lovingly hymn thee, that we may be saved from all adversity.

Glory … Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

O pure, spotless and unwedded Bride who alone hast given birth to the eternal Son and Word of God: together with the holy and venerable Apostles and Martyrs, Prophets and Ascetics, beseech thou Him to grant us healing and great mercy.

Hymn to the Cross and the Mother of God:

O most pure Virgin, Mother of Christ our God, a sword pierced thy soul when thou didst behold thy Son and God willingly crucified. Wherefore, O blessed one, do not cease to pray to Him, that He may grant us the forgiveness of our sins.

Ode IV

Irmos: O Lord, I have heard of the mystery of Thy dispensation. I contemplate Thy works and glorify Thy divine nature.

O noble Audrey, holy and royal jewel in the crown of East Anglia, thy bright festival shineth with the radiance of the Spirit and, healing both bodily and spiritual eyes, enlighteneth our souls as we sing to thee in faith.

With miracles and foreknowledge, thou hast brought to the Faith those who had not known the Master, and by the noble strength of prayer and fasting thou hast revealed Him to those who were beset by the darkness of heathendom.

Couselled by the wisdom of the holy Abbesses Hild and Ebbe, thou, O Queen and virgin, didst bring to Christ the gifts of bodily abstinence and the labours of fasting, and He hath rewarded thee with the unending joy of His kingdom.

Glory … Now and ever:

O most pure one, who art humble, save me who live in pride, for thou didst give birth to Him who hath exalted our humbled nature.

Ode V

Irmos: Enlighten us by Thy commandments, O Lord, and by Thine uplifted arm grant us Thy peace, O Lover of men.

From amid the eel-island in the fens, thou didst raise thy hands aloft to the Creator, O Mother Audrey, and defeating the slippery serpent-enemy through the noble strength of thy prayers, thou didst protect all those that cry unto thee in faith.

Filled with the noble strength of prayer, thou wast made a nun by Bishop Wilfrid, and the Most High took thee by thy right hand, O Mother Audrey, and making thine island-fortress into a stronghold of holiness and prayer, He led thee into the joys of Paradise.

O venerable Audrey, thou didst tread the narrow path of ascetic struggle, spending night in prayer and fasting, clothed not in fine linen but coarse woollen, and showing many others the way, thou didst attain to the breadth of Paradise.

Glory … Now and ever:

Those who do not acknowledge thee to be the Mother of God, O most pure one, shall not see the Light Whom thou didst bear.

Ode VI

Irmos: I will pour out my prayer to the Lord, and to Him I will confess my grief: for my soul is full of evil and my life hath drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I will pray: Raise me up from corruption, O Lord.

O venerable Audrey, rejecting the foolishness of men, thou didst gain the wisdom of God, and stilling thy bodily tumults and becoming mistress of thy passions, now thou dwellest in passionless serenity.

Thou didst love to venerate the Saviour's Image, O glorious Saint, and to follow His teaching and heavenly life in thy words and deeds. By the necklace of thy virtues, thou art become a model of purity and modesty for all womankind.

Christ hath shown thee forth to thy godly nuns and all folk as a cloud shedding the rain of grace on those who ask this in faith, and thy shrine became a sign of spiritual greatness in all the English land, O holy Mother Audrey, and thou didst show how by noble strength of prayer we are to withstand the impious.

Glory … Now and ever:

O most pure one, thy Son is lovely beyond the sons of men by the beauty of His divinity, He Who took flesh for our sakes.

Kontakion Tone II:

O holy Audrey, Mother of many, for the love of God thou didst spurn the need for rest and make thy spirit most bright through fasting and prayer, defeating the passions. Thou didst make the barren fenlands into islands of prayer and through thine intercessions thou dost destroy the snares of our enemies.


O God, grant me streams of speech, make my mind a wellspring of piety, and bless my tongue, that I may hymn Thy lamb whom Thou hast crowned with grace. For if Thou Thyself didst not give me worthy words, how can I, a beggar, bring a gift to her who is so rich in words and deeds? Wherefore give me strength to declare her contests, for she hath mastered the passions. Through thine intercessions thou dost destroy the snares of our enemies.


Irmos: The Hebrew Children in the furnace trod upon the flames, and changed the fire into dew, singing: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God forever.

Despising all fading glory, O holy Audrey, thou didst seek for heavenly rewards, the light and rest of God's eternal glory in His beauty, which thou didst show to thy holy sisters, thy faithful steward Owin and the holy hermit priest Huna.

Thou didst exchange this corrupt world for ageless life above the world, temporal food for eternal substance and earthly marriage for the heavenly Bridegroom, O Virgin-Abbess Queen Audrey, noble strength of the Orthodox faith.

Beyond the booklore of the foolish, thou didst gain the knowledge of divine love, O Audrey, and become like the angels while still in the flesh. With fervour like unto theirs thou didst lovingly keep vigil and sing: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, throughout all ages.

Glory … Now and ever:

The multitude of my evil deeds hath cast me into affliction: look on me and snatch me from the flames, O Virgin, crying: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, throughout all ages.


Irmos: Inspired by God the Children stood in the midst of the flames and sang: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

Forsaking the vain artifices of men, thou art adorned and ennobled with the radiance of thy pure life, O Mother, and thou dost stand before Thy Bridegroom, Christ our God, interceding for the salvation of our souls.

For long gloriously preserved in thine island shrine, thy body healed man's manifold diseases and drove away the demons with their wickedness. Do thou now intercede with Christ our God for us sinners who honour thee.

O holy Mother, baptised as child by the holy Bishop Felix, in felicity thou wast brought to the Master of all, Christ our God, as a holy sacrifice and bright offering, as the sweet-smelling incense of prayer.

Let us bless … Now and ever:

Ineffably and without corruption thou hast given birth to the Word Who saveth all from corruption, O Virgin. Therefore in faith we magnify thee.

Ode IX

Irmos: Creation was filled with dread on hearing of the ineffable condescension of God, that the Most High came down of His own will and became incarnate of the Virgin, therefore the all-pure Mother of God do we magnify.

Desiring thy Bridegroom's spiritual beauty in pure love for Him thou, O Queen, didst ardently cry: Where dost Thou rest and pasture Thy flock? Let me rest with Thee and take delight in Thy peace, magnifying Thy graciousness, O Christ my King.

In thy soul was found understanding and humility, divine goodness, unwavering faith, and hope and love of God. In thy vigils thou didst draw near to Him, O Blessed Audrey, and thou wast illumined and enlightened with the gift of foreknowledge and healing.

Today we faithful come to praise and magnify the Lord, Who glorifieth thy holy festival, O holy and venerable Audrey. As thou now dost stand before Christ thy Bridegroom, remember us who venerate thee and heal the eyes of our souls.

Glory … Now and ever:

O God Who wast born of the Virgin and didst preserve her incorrupt after Thy birth: spare me when Thou wilt sit and judge my deeds; overlook my sins and wickedness, for Thou art the sinless, gracious God and thou lovest all mankind.


Thou didst show the princes who pursued thee to be foolish and bereft of glory, for virgin in soul and body, thou wast manly in thine understanding and faith, O holy Audrey, boast of Ely, crown of Queens, beauty of chaste women and adornment of the monastic life.

Glory … Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

Enlighten me with the day of spiritual joy, O pure one, for thou art life and light to those who dwell in darkness. Thou art mistress of thy desires and actions, for thou art the sovereign Lady of all; deliver us all from calamity, and the afflicted from the temptations of the evil one.

At the Praises: 4 Stichira in Tone IV:

Thou didst subdue the urges of the flesh to the soul, thou didst follow Christ, dwelling with ascetics in chastity, thou didst overcome the flames of worldly pleasure with holy tears, increasing thy fervour for Christ, O noble and strong Audrey.

In Ely thou didst built a holy dwelling place for God to benefit many, O wise one, for in thy pure soul thou didst discern the temple of the Holy Spirit; thou didst also guide souls into the good way of abstinence and bring them to the Master as a dowry. With them in faith we honour thee, O Mother Audrey .

Maidens, following thy teaching, loved their Lord and Bridegroom; become noble and strong in spirit, they despised bodily weakness and subdued their passions. They were brought with thee to the heavenly mansions, ever rejoicing.

Glory in Tone VIII:

O wonder of wonders! How fervently thou didst give thyself to God in ascetic labours and tears! Filled with divine love thou didst overcome bodily passions, trample down demons through abstinence, and become a bride of the Almighty through the noble strength of the Holy Spirit.

Now and ever, Hymn to the Mother of God:

With the Archangel's cry let us say: Rejoice, Mother of God, for thou hast brought into the world Christ the Giver of Life!

Hymn to the Cross and the Mother of God:

When the most pure one beheld Thee crucified, with broken heart she cried out through her tears: Where hast Thou gone, my most beloved Jesus, my Son and my Lord? Forsake not me who gave birth to Thee, O Christ.

Great Doxology. Troparia. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.

At the Liturgy

At the Beatitudes, 8 Troparia from Odes III and IV of the Canon of the Saint.

Prokimenon Tone IV:

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

Verse: In the congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the wellsprings of Israel.

The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians 208 (3, 23-29)

Alleluia in Tone I:

With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication.

Verse: And He brought me out of the pit of misery, and from the mire of clay.

The Gospel according to St Matthew 104 (25, 1-13)

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

to top of page