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Commemoration of Our Father among the Saints
Ansgar, Archbishop of Bremen & Hamburg, Enlightener of Denmark &
Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson
"Lord, I have cried
", 6 stichera: 3 of the righteous
Symeon (see in the Menaion); and 3 of the holy hierarch, in Tone VI: Spec.
Mel.: "Having set all aside
ye who love the feasts of the Church, come, let us pay homage to the wondrous
Ansgar, the model of Christian virtue and piety, who hath joined chorus
in heaven with the martyrs and holy hierarchs of Christ; for kings honoured
his sanctity, pastors venerated the purity of his life, and all men declared
him to be upright and holy. Wherefore, mindful of his teachings, let us
rejoice exceedingly, for thus are we able to walk without faltering in
the way of the commandments of God.
Heeding the exhortations of the holy Ansgar, let us guard against the
snares of the adversary; for the devil, our ancient foe, when he seeth
someone leading the devout Christian life, doth try the more to trip him,
so as to destroy what is holy, and he striveth to take it away by crafty
persuasion and wicked endeavour, lest it be imitated by others. But let
us be attentive to the admonitions of the holy one, that we, like birds,
may escape the nets of the evil one, soaring aloft unto Christ our Creator.
Loving God from earliest infancy, O blessed one, and thy neighbour as
thyself, thou didst bow thy neck beneath the easy yoke of holy obedience
and didst take the light burden of the Lord upon thy shoulders, being
clothed in the angelic habit at Corbey in Piccardy. Wherefore, thou didst
hate all that is vainglorious and didst spurn what is unprofitable for
the soul, attending fervently to prayers, vigils and fasting, so that
the world became dead to thee and thee to the world. Pray thou therefore
that our souls be saved.
, of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon,
in Tone V -
for the crown of martyrdom, thou didst eagerly consent to go to Denmark,
O saint, where thou didst proclaim the true God unto the pagan hordes,
preaching to them the right doctrine of salvation and the Christian Faith.
Wherefore, illumined by the grace which dwelt in thee, the number of those
who could be saved in the Lord increased daily, for thou didst zealously
fulfil the commandment of Christ, declaring the Word of God unto the nations.
Now & ever
, of the feast.
Aposticha of the feast (see in the Menaion);
and Glory ..., of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon, in Tone III -
Withering under the shadow of pagan ignorance, like plants the Swedes
strove toward the bright effulgence of knowledge divine; and to the Christian
realm they dispatched emissaries, seeking a wise husbandman to graft them
onto the Tree of Life. Wherefore, the fearless Ansgar set forth most eagerly
to illumine them with the grace of God, and having braved perils and death
during his journey, he revealed to them the path to immortality, baptizing
them in the name of the All-holy Trinity, and making them steadfast in
the one true Faith. And having attained unto the mansions of heavens,
he watcheth over the peoples of Scandinavia with the eye of his lovingkindness,
unceasingly entreating Christ God in their behalf.
Now & ever..., of the feast.
Troparion of the holy hierarch, in Tone IV -
Ever moved by love for God and man, O Ansgar, like the apostles thou didst
journey afar to bring salvation to the benighted, offering up thine afflictions
upon the altar of thy heart, in thy toils and distress bearing witness
unto thy Saviour like a martyr, enduring perils on land and at sea for
His sake, undaunted by temptations and tribulations. Wherefore, pray with
boldness, that our souls be saved.
, Now & ever
of the feast (see in the Menaion).
At "God is the Lord
", the troparion
of the feast, twice; Glory
, that of the holy hierarch; Now &
, that of the feast, once.
After the kathismata of the Psalter, the sessional hymns from the Menaion.
Canon of the feast, with 6 troparia, including the irmos; that of the
righteous Symeon, wit/i 4 troparia; and this canon of the holy hierarch,
with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is "O holy warrior, do battle
for us sinners", in Tone III -
Irmos: Let us sing unto Christ the
Saviour, Who delivered Israel from slavery and overwhelmed Pharaoh in
the sea, for He hath been glorified forever.
is the burden of my manifold offences, O Christ my God, yet in Thy mercy
ease it, that, free from its weight, I may hymn Ansgar Thy saint.
Hearkening to the commandment of God, to go and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Trinity, Ansgar brought the Danes to Christ.
Overcoming every obstacle the evil one set in thy path, thou didst bring
the light of divine grace to the heathen nations of the North, O valiant
Theotokion: Lady and Queen of heaven
art thou, O most pure one; for thy Son, the incarnate Logos, took thy
precious soul into His hands at thy repose.
O barren and sterile soul, acquire thou right glorious fruit, and cry
out in gladness: I have been made steadfast by Thee, O God! There is none
so holy or so righteous as Thou, O Lord!
Yearning ever for the Promised Land on high, O glorious Ansgar, thou didst
willingly depart thy native land and travel afar to render fertile the
barren and sterile souls of the Danes.
With thine apostolic discourse, as with a fisherman's nets, thou didst
draw a great draught of the souls of the Danes and Swedes to the shore
of heaven, O saint, presenting them to Christ.
As an experienced husbandman grafteth sprigs upon a fruit-tree, O holy
one, so didst thou with great skill graft the Danes and Swedes upon the
Tree of Life, the Holy Church of Christ
Theotokion: Rightly do we deserve
retribution and punishment for our sins, O Ever-virgin Theotokos; but
open thou our hearts to true repentance, that we may receive forgiveness
and remission from thy Son.
Kontakion of the righteous Symeon (see in the
Menaion). And the kontakion of the holy hierarch, in Tone VI -
Throughout the North the heathen raged, clinging to the emptiness of idolatry,
assembling together against Christ and His Church. But the valiant Ansgar
broke asunder the bonds of false belief and freed the Danes and Swedes
from demonic oppression, giving their lands to God for His inheritance,
even the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Wherefore, in
the fear of the Lord and with trembling they served Him, rejoicing, in
Sessional hymn of the righteous Symeon (see in
the Menaion); and Glory
: Sessional hymn of the holy hierarch, in
Tone III: "Awed by the beauty of thy virginity
Hating the truth of Christ, by lying oracles the foul demons opposed the
preaching of Ansgar; but by fasting and prayer the holy hierarch prevailed
over them mightily, as the Lord promised in the Gospel; and thereat the
saint rejoiced in spirit, exulting in the Lord, Who by His providence
and love for mankind had brought salvation to Sweden and Götland.
Now & ever
: Sessional hymn of the
feast (see in the Menaion).
Irmos: Thou hast shown us constant
love, O Lord, for Thou didst give Thine only-begotten Son over to death
for us. Wherefore, in thanksgiving we cry to Thee: Glory to Thy power,
Responding to the supernal love of God, thou didst show forth surpassing
love for thy sheep, O blessed and wondrous Ansgar, laying down thy life
for the sake of their eternal salvation.
In Corbey of Piccardy wast thou clothed in the angelic habit, and in New
Corbey on the Weser thou didst live the life of reverent obedience, O
Ansgar, who dwellest now with the angels.
O namesake of godly prowess, through divine grace endow us with spiritual
skill, that like thee we may bravely fight the good fight, trampling the
adversary in triumph under our feet.
Theotokion: Rich reward will be the
lot of those who live and act in a God-pleasing manner, O all-immaculate
one; but, slothful and dishonest, we will gain only perdition if thou
wilt not intercede for us.
Thou hast appeared on earth, O Invisible One, and of Thine own will hast
dwelt with men, O Unapproachable One. And rising early unto Thee, we hymn
Thee, O Thou Who lovest mankind.
Denmark boasteth exceedingly in thee, O angelic Ansgar, and Sweden greatly
hymneth thee, for, dwelling among their peoples thou didst bring them
the Light of Christ, Who loveth mankind.
Offering up the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, O Ansgar, devout hierarch,
thou didst nourish therewith the souls of those whom thou didst teach
to laud the One Who alone loveth mankind.
Bremen was given over to thine archpastoral care, joining Hamburg, for
which thou hadst received hierarchal consecration, O saint of God; and
over both dost thou watch from heaven.
Theotokion: Angels and men together
hymn the magnitude of thy glory, O thou who knewest not wedlock, for,
assumed into heaven, soul and body, thou art enthroned as Queen at thy
Son's right hand.
Irmos: With unceasing groans I cried
unto our compassionate God, and He hearkened unto me from the uttermost
depths of hades, and hath raised up my life from corruption.
The rivers and seas of the North were honoured to bear thee on thine apostolic
journeys, O Ansgar, disciple of Christ, for the ship of thy soul was propelled
by the Holy Spirit.
Truly wast thou a good shepherd for the flock of thy Lord, and not a base
hireling, O blessed hierarch, for with all thy might thou didst fend off
the wolves of polytheism.
Looting and pillaging, the heathen marauders sacked thy city of Hamburg,
enslaving the sheep of thy flock, O saint; but thou didst labour to redeem
them all from bondage.
Theotokion: Even the most eloquent
of rhetors fall mute when they try to describe the mighty things which
thy Son, the preëternal Word, worketh through thy mediation, O Lady.
Kontakion & ikos of the feast (see in the
Irmos: Proud was the tyrant; yet he
was as a plaything for the children; for, trampling underfoot the flame
heated sevenfold, they chanted: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!
Foresight was granted thee by God in visions and dreams, O blessed one,
that, strengthened in spirit, thou mightest not fear the perils which
await all who preach the God of our fathers.
Over all that thy Lord entrusted to thee didst thou show thyself to be
an honest steward, O Ansgar; wherefore, high in His favour, thou dost
cry: Blessed is the Lord God of our fathers!
Ribe, the great port, became the site of thy first church in Jutland,
O Ansgar, and there thou didst firmly plant the Cross of Christ, crying:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!
Theotokion: Upon thee did the Spirit descend,
O Virgin who knewest not man, when in obedience to the divine will thou
didst say to the angelic messenger: "Be it unto me according to thy
Irmos: God Who was begotten of the
unoriginate Father before time began, and in latter days clothed Himself
in flesh from the Theotokos, do ye hymn, bless and exalt supremely for
all ages, as perfect man and true God!
Sensing the power of divine love which shone forth from thee, the Danish
king received the enlightenment of holy baptism at thy hands, O Ansgar;
wherefore, he gladly built a church of Christ for thee in Schleswig.
Sweden gloried in the light of Christ, which thou didst fearlessly bring
into its midst, dispelling the gloom of idolatry and delivering from the
darkness of unbelief those who sat in the shadow of perdition and death.
In all the lands of the North is thy name revered, O Ansgar, for thy virtuous
works were ever in accord with the beauteous words thou didst preach,
for which cause the hearts of men were opened to the grace of salvation.
Theotokion: Never did corruption or the passions take root within
thine undefiled soul, O pure and most holy Bride and Mother of God; wherefore,
without corruption thou didst conceive God in thine immaculate womb.
Irmos: Commemorating the saints, we
magnify thee, the Theotokos who knew not wedlock, as her who gave birth
to the Salvation of our souls.
Night and day didst thou purify thy soul by heartfelt tears and fasting,
mortifying the flesh and the passions, O holy one; wherefore, pray for
Eaten by illness, yet uncomplaining, Ansgar continually uttered the words
of Christ on the Cross: "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!"
Rejoicing in the highest with the ranks of angels and the choirs of saints,
O great Ansgar, thou dost ever watch over the sheep of thy flock.
Theotokion: Salvation came to our race through
thee, O pure Theotokos, who didst find favour with God: for thou gavest
birth to the Saviour of our souls.
The first exapostilarion of the feast (see in
: Exapostilarion of the holy hierarch:
Spec. Mel.: "By the Spirit in the sanctuary
Repeating the words of the Lord, the holy Ansgar exhausted his frail body
on his death bed, and enjoined his disciples to utter them when he could
not continue; and thus with faith did he commit his pure soul to his Master's
Now & ever
: The second exapostilarion
of the feast (see in the Menaion).
Aposticha from the Menaion; and Glory
of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon, in Tone I -
Imitating the blessed saints of old, and holding the great Martin of Tours
as his model, in the fear of God Ansgar mortified his flesh, and, mindful
of the Psalmist's words, wore sackcloth against his skin day and night.
And though as a monk he delighted in stillness, yet strove he like the
Apostle to be all things to all men, healing the infirm by prayer and
unction, and supporting the needy by his generous assistance, giving shelter
to orphans and widows, ransoming captives and strengthening the faithful,
so that he became the eyes of the blind, the feet of the lame, and a father
to paupers. Wherefore, O ye who love the saints of the Church, let us
lift up our voices in praise of him who never ceaseth to intercede for
us before the throne of God on high.
Now & ever
, of the feast (see in the
On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from Ode I of
the festal canon, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the righteous Symeon.
Prokimenon of the feast; and this prokimenon of the righteous one, in
Tone VII -
The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.
Epistle to the Hebrews, §321, from the midpoint
[Heb. 9: 11-14]
Brethren: Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a
greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say,
not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by
His own Blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained
eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and
the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying
of the flesh, how much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the
eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience
from dead works to serve the living God?
of the feast; and that of the righteous one, in Tone VI -
Stichos: A light hath dawned forth
for the righteous man, and gladness for the upright of heart.
Gospel according to Luke, § 8
[Lk. 2: 25-38]
At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon; and
the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:
and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the
Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's
Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents
brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law,
then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said: "Lord,
now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for
mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the
face of all people; a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of
Thy people Israel." And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those
things which were spoken of Him. And Symeon blessed them, and said unto
Mary His mother: "Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising
again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts
of many hearts may be revealed." And there was one Anna, a prophetess,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age,
and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she
was a widow of about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the
temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she
coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of
Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Communion Verse of the feast, and that of the
righteous one -
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid
of evil tidings.