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Month of December

The 13th Day

Commemoration of The Holy Martyr Lucy of Syracuse, in Sicily

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

N.B.: If the superior or rector so will, the celebration of the feast of the martyr Lucy, which falleth on the 13th of December, may be transferred to the 14th of that month, that it may not coincide with the commemoration of the widely venerated martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Mardarius, Eugene & Orestes of Sebaste.

At Vespers

On "Lord, I have cried ...", 6 stichera. 3 stichera of the martyrs Thyrsus and companions (see in the Menaion); and 3 stichera of the martyr Lucy, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: "As one valiant among the martyrs ..." -

Moved by a vision of the martyr Agatha, thou and thy pious mother together disposed of all your estates and valuables, O splendid and noble Lucy, and distributed the profits to the poor and needy, providing for widows and orphans, and supporting the homeless and the ministers of God. Wherefore, O martyr, thou wast denounced to the wicked governor, who sought to compel thee to make offering to the idols; but instead thou didst offer thyself as a sacrifice to thy heavenly Bridegroom alone.

Undaunted by those who could put thy body to torture and death, but were unable to slay thy pure soul, O glorious martyr Lucy, thou didst manfully rebuke Paschasius as a corrupter; wherefore, enraged, he commanded thee sent to a house of ill repute, there to be forcibly defiled until thou wouldst die. But the grace of thy Saviour and Redeemer set his vile plans at nought and preserved unsullied the pure temple of thy body, to the consternation of the ungodly.

His every effort confounded by the power of Christ which imbued the sacred virgin Lucy, Paschasius enkindled a great fire round about the saint; but, preserved by power divine, she stood unharmed in its midst like the three holy youths in Babylon of old. Then, enraged beyond measure, the cruel tyrant gave orders that she be slain by the blow of a sword to her neck; but, even mortally wounded, the martyr continued to glorify the name of the Most High God.

Glory ... : Idiomelon, in Tone II -

Filled with the Holy Spirit, the valiant Lucy proclaimed the one true God, and with her gravely wounded throat she exhorted the people to fear not, but to worship Him alone with faith and love. Then, rising and receiving the immaculate Mysteries of Christ at the hands of His priests, she surrendered her pure soul to her Master and Lord, and her soul was escorted by ministering angels to His festal banquet, where with all the virgin martyrs she gazeth with love upon His radiant countenance.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "When from the Tree ..." -

She who knew not wedlock, beholding Thee nailed to the wood of the Cross, O Jesus, said weeping: "O sweet Child, unapproachable Light of the all-unoriginate Father, why hast Thou left me alone, who gave Thee birth? But haste Thou and glorify Thyself, that they who glorify Thy divine sufferings may receive divine glory!"

Aposticha from the Octoechos; and Glory ... : Idiomelon, in Tone VIII -

With what wreaths of praise shall we crown Lucy, the namesake of light? What diadem of honour befitteth the brow of her who willingly gave up her life for her heavenly Bridegroom, bringing Him as dowry, as though they were priceless rubies, the drops of her precious blood, shed by the sword for His sake? Come, ye who love the martyrs, and let us fashion comely wreaths of laudation, glorifying her who in her pure virginity, her blameless life and spotless death glorified above all the Holy Trinity, the one true God, and put to shame the mindlessness of the pagans! For having been faithful to Christ unto the end, she hath truly entered into the joy of her Lord, and abideth forever in the eternal bliss of His mansions on high.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "Thy martyrs, O Lord ..." -

Beholding her Bullock nailed of His own will to the Tree, the heifer cried out, lamenting bitterly: "Woe is me, O most beloved Child! How hath the ungrateful assembly of the Jews rewarded Thee, desiring to leave me bereft of Thee, O most Beloved?"

Troparion of the holy martyr, in Tone IV -

Eagerly following the unblemished Lamb and Shepherd, O reason-endowed ewe-lamb Lucy, thou wast not afraid of the noetic wolves, who with their savage fangs and jaws sought to rend thee apart; but armed with the supernal grace of God, thou didst set their predations utterly at nought, and didst enter, unharmed, into the fold of paradise, where be thou ever mindful of us sinners in thine entreaties, O most radiant namesake of the light of Christ.

At Matins

At "God is the Lord ...", troparion of the martyr, twice; Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion.

One canon from the Octoechos; then, the canon of the martyrs Thyrsus and companions (see in the Menaion); and the canon of the holy martyr, the acrostic whereof is "With light do I hymn the namesake of light", the composition of Bartholemew, in Tone VIII-

Ode I

Irmos: The staff of Moses, once working a wonder, striking the sea in the form of the Cross and dividing it, drowned the mounted tyrant Pharaoh, and saved Israel who fled on foot, chanting a hymn unto God.

Radiant with the splendour of virginity and clad in a robe empurpled with the blood of thy martyrdom, O Lucy, namesake of light, thou art enthroned at the right hand of the King, like a most beautiful queen.

Strengthened in spirit by the power of the Cross, O martyr Lucy, thou didst manfully repel the vain assaults of deception and becamest an unshakable tower of love for God and a protectress of those who praise thee in sincerity of heart.

As once thou didst stanch the flow of thy mother's blood, so by the power of thy supplication stem thou the sensual torrents of my passions, O comely virgin, and like rain wash them away with tears of contrition, that I may honour thee with glorification.

Theotokion: In thy most holy icon, O Virgin, I see thee holding in thy most pure hands Him Who ruleth the universe with His hand, yet Who became a babe for man's salvation.


Irmos: O Lord, Fashioner of the vault of heaven and Creator of the Church: establish me in Thy love, O summit of desire, confirmation of the faithful, Who alone lovest mankind.

As Thou art wholly sweetness, wholly desire, O Word of God, the pure dove Lucy, wholly perfumed by the fragrance of Thy heavenly scent, renounced all riches, all luxury, all glory, and a mortal, earthly bridegroom.

O glorious and holy Lucy, the far-famed city of Syracuse honoureth thee as a fragrant lily, adorned with the beauty of virginity, wherewith, and with thy martyrdom, the whole world is perfumed.

From temptation, sin and tribulation deliver those who with love celebrate thy holy, glorious and renowned memory; and cause those who entreat thee to share in everlasting glory.

Theotokion: Envisioning and invoking the image of thee holding in thine arms the Babe Who upholdeth the whole universe, O Virgin, I cannot restrain myself from crying out "Rejoice!" and entreating thee to help me to do the will of thy Son.

Kontakion of the martyrs Thyrsus and companions (see in the Menaion, after Ode VI)

Sessional hymn of the martyrs Thyrsus and companions; then, Glory...: Sessional hymn of the martyr Lucy, in Tone II -

Adorned with the beauty of virginity, splendid in the contest of martyrdom, like an all-pure dove thou didst take wing and soar higher than the heavens. O martyr Lucy; wherefore, entreat the Lord in our behalf.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion -

O pure Theotokos, who without seed gavest birth to the Master of all, with the martyr entreat Him, that we be delivered from all doubt, and that He grant compunction and light unto our souls, O thou who alone art quick to help.

Stavrotheotokion -

Preserved by the precious Cross of thy Son, O pure Mistress Theotokos, we all easily vanquish every attack of the enemy; wherefore, as is meet, we bless thee as the Mother of God, the only hope of our souls.

Ode IV

Irmos: I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy dispensation; I have understood Thy works, and have glorified Thy divinity.

Having fed thy lamp with the oil of thy virginity, O martyr, thou hast entered with joy into the heavenly bridal-chamber.

Mystically provided with golden pinions, O virgin martyr, like a turtledove thou hast soared above the heavens.
Established firmly upon the rock of faith and relying unshakably upon grace divine, O martyr, thou didst topple the wall of deception.

With the splendid radiance of thy supplications do thou illumine me, who am enshrouded with the cloud of the passions, O virgin most good.

Theotokion: In thee, O Bride of God, have I set all my hope. With the goodness of thy loving-kindness shelter me beneath thy protection.

Ode V

Irmos: O Lord Who by divine knowledge didst bring the ends of the earth into the light out of the night of ignorance, enlighten me with the dawning of Thy love for mankind.

Wholly aflame with the fire of the heavenly Bridegroom, with the outpouring of thy blood thou didst quench the burning coals of deception.

With the splendour of virginity most good, O valiant Lucy, thou didst smite blind thine enemies, who strove to stain the purity of thy virginity.

As thou didst once stem the flux of thy mother's blood, O glorious and most eminent Lucy, so now dry up the effluents of my passions.

Theotokion: O Mother of God, refuge of sinners, hope of the desperate, help of the oppressed: Save thou thy servants!

Ode VI

Irmos: Cleanse me, O Saviour, for many are my transgressions; and lead me up from the abyss of evils, I pray, for to Thee have I cried, and Thou hast hearkened to me, O God of my salvation.

Made wholly radiant by the divine effulgence of Jesus Christ, the noetic Sun, the Offspring of the Virgin, O glorious Lucy, thou dispellest the gloom of polytheism and illuminest the souls of the faithful.

Filled with the vivifying outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with the wisdom of thy discourse thou didst confound Paschasius; and putting him to shame, thou didst win the wreath of victory, O pure and comely virgin.

Easily causing the buds of ungodliness to wither away, O valiant Lucy, thou didst yearn ardently for Christ, the Tree of life. Pray now that those who laud thee in hymns may be counted worthy of life everlasting.

Theotokion: Behold how the rulers of this world now fall down before thee, O loving and immaculate one, for thou didst bear God, the Bestower of all good things.

Kontakion, in Tone VI -

Upon those sitting in darkness and the shadow of unbelief hast thou cast the brilliant beams of thy splendour, O radiant Lucy, namesake of light; wherefore, illumined b y the grace of God which shineth in thee like a beacon, we discern the straight and narrow path of faith, which leadeth to the mansions on high, wherein, O most holy martyr of Christ, thou abidest eternally with thy heavenly Bridegroom.

Ikos: Waiting for the divine Word to come for her, like the wise virgins Lucy filled the lamp of her soul with oil most rich; for having sold all her property, she bestowed all her substance upon the poor and destitute. Wherefore, feeding the hungry and giving drink to those athirst, clothing the naked and providing shelter for the indigent, she laid up for herself great store of the oil of mercy, wherewith to delight her Master. For this cause, let us sinners entreat her with boldness, that she pour forth of her oil and wine upon our manifold wounds, treating the afflictions of our bodies and curing the passions of our souls, that, restored to full health by her, we also may abide eternally with the heavenly Bridegroom.


Irmos: Once, in Babylon, the fire stood in awe of the condescension of God; wherefore, the youths, dancing with joyous step in the furnace, as in a meadow, chanted: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

O most praised Lucy, thy heart being filled with the love of God, thou didst remain untouched, like the three youths in the midst of the fire; wherefore, exulting in gladness, with love thou didst chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

O Lucy, namesake of light, who art full of the light of God and delightest in the light of the most Holy Trinity: illumine me, who am darkened by the shadow of sin and am in peril; and save me by thine intercession.

Theotokion: O Lady, pour forth thy grace upon those who praise thee and venerate with fervent love thy most holy and divine icon; and who with faith glorify thy Son in two natures.


Irmos: Madly did the Chaldæan tyrant heat the furnace sevenfold for the pious ones; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

The virgin Agatha struggled manfully, becoming the bulwark and safekeeping of the city of Catania; and thou, O most renowned Lucy, becamest an unshakable rampart and tower of goodness for the city of Syracuse, which chanteth: O people, exalt ye Christ for all ages!

Displaying the courage of the martyrs, O most blessed champion Lucy, thou didst confound the audacious henchmen, remaining intact in thy virginity; and having received the holy Mysteries, at the stroke of the headsman's sword thou didst place thy spirit in the hands of thy Creator.

With splendour did the choirs of virgins accompany thee to the radiant mansions of heaven, O good and immaculate virgin, most pure, inviolate and incorrupt, and the ranks of the angels escorted thee thereinto, unceasingly chanting: Ye priests, praise; ye people, exult Christ supremely for all ages!

With thy holy intercession, O holy Lucy, thou dost enliven, uplift and heal me, who am wounded by the arrows of impure thoughts and brought low and slain by the blows of the passions; wherefore, I chant with love: Ye priests, praise; ye people, exult Christ supremely for all ages!

Theotokion: Without leaving the bosom of the Father, the divine Lord was seen as a babe in thine arms, O immaculate one. Entreat Him without ceasing, that He save those who with faith chant unto thee: Ye youths, bless; ye priests, praise; ye people, exalt Christ supremely for all ages.

Ode IX

Irmos: Every ear trembleth to hear of the ineffable condescension of God, for the Most High willingly came down even to the flesh, becoming man through the Virgin's womb. Wherefore, we, the faithful, magnify the all-pure Theotokos.

O passion-bearer Lucy, having ascended the ladder of holy virtue, thou didst attain the glorious heights of martyrdom, and now livest where the choirs of all t h e martyrs, the spirits of the righteous and the ranks of the virgins dwell. Ask thou forgiveness for our souls.

As thou art all Sweetness, all Desire and all Love, O Word of God, desiring Thee alone Thy chosen bride Lucy spurned all the good things of the earth; wherefore, with faith she chanted: O immortal Bridegroom, Thou alone do I desire, and I long for thy sweetness!

Break the fetters of my sins, I pray thee, O bride of Christ, and put the deepest night of my mind to flight; and as thou art the namesake of light, O light-bearer, illumine me with thine intercession, that I may be guided to the kingdom of heaven.

O Christ, Thou light Who alone never wanest, through the holy prayers of all Thy martyrs, and by the manifest rays of Thy martyr Lucy, have mercy upon those who with faith bow down before Thy power.

Theotokion: O Word of God, we venerate the holy icon of Thy Virgin Mother holding Thee as a babe in her arms for our sake; and we beseech Thee, that through her intercession we may be counted worthy to cherish the lily of virginity and to glorify Thee among the choirs of virgins.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: "Hearken, ye women ..." -

Like a beauteous rose, dyed red in the blood of thy sacred suffering, thou didst blossom forth in the thorny ground of Syracuse, O martyred virgin Lucy. Wherefore, in thy love save thy city from misfortunes and preserve those who celebrate thy holy memory.

Theotokion -

Rescued by thee, we confess thee to be the true Theotokos, O Mistress; for thou gavest birth ineffably to God, Who destroyed death by His Cross and hath drawn to Himself all the assemblies of the martyrs, with whom we ever glorify thee, O immaculate Virgin.

Aposticha from the Octoechos; and Glory ... : Idiomelon, in Tone VI -

Spurning all worldly pleasures and delights, and rejecting an earthly betrothal, thou didst cleave unto the King of heaven alone, O most glorious martyr Lucy; for, cruelly put to death by the sword, with the wise virgins thou didst enter into the celestial bridal-chamber of Christ, where the sound is unceasing of those who keep festival. Wherefore, dispelling every deadly plague and earthquake from thy native city and island, thou healest all the faithful by the grace of the Paraclete, and prayest unceasingly in behalf of our souls.

Now & ever ... : Theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "On the third day ..." -

The most pure one, when she beheld Thee hanging on the Cross, said, weeping maternally: "O my Son and my God, my Child most sweet, how is it that Thou endurest a violent death?"

At 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 well-springs of Israel.

Epistle to the Corinthians, § 181
[II Cor. 6: 1-10]

Brethren As workers together, we beseech you, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain - (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) - giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

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 spake 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."

Communion Verse -

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

The canon and sessional hymn of the holy martyr Lucy are the work of the 11th century Calabrian hymnographer Bartholomew (+ ca. 1040), who composed it in Greek. The stichera, troparion, kontakion, ikos, and exapostilarion are newly composed for this service.

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