Return to Home Page

Month of February

Commemoration of Our Father among the Saints Oswald of Worcester, Archbishop of York

Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At Lord, I have cried, these stichera, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: As one valiant among the martyrs

Come, ye who love the saints, and with cries of gladness, let us exalt the divinely wise Oswald, who finished the contest of ascetic feats and kept the Faith, and thus received the wreath of victory from Christ, the impartial Judge of the contest, and hath entered, rejoicing, into paradise, in company with those who struggled valiantly.

Kings and nobles, monks and clerics, people of every station and rank, didst thou succour with grace divine, O God-bearing Oswald; and even now, after thy godly repose, on high thou makest supplication on behalf of those who honour thy holy memory with faith, that we may delivered from corruption of soul and freed from all misfortunes.

As a shepherd beloved of thy flock, whose voice they were wont to heed, O godly Oswald, the reason-endowed sheep entrusted to thy care made all haste to thy bier, merchants forsaking the market-place, and women their looms, to grieve as children bereft of a loving father; but seeing thy body lying incorrupt, their great sorrow was assuaged.

Glory..., Now & ever: Theotokion, in the same tone & melody

O all-pure one who in thy womb didst receive the infinite God, Who, in His love for mankind, became man and assumed from thee our nature, manifestly deifying it: Disdain me not, who am now sorrowful, but take pity quickly, and free me from the divers hostilities and assaults of the evil one.

Or this Stavrotheotokion, in the same melody

As she beheld Thee nailed to the Cross, O Lord, the ewe-lamb, Thy Mother, marvelled and cried out: What is this that I see, O my most beloved Son, these things which the iniquitous and unbelieving synagogue hath done to Thee, which hath hitherto delighted in Thy many wonders? But glory to Thine ineffable condescension, O Master!

Troparion of the saint, in Tone IV

O glorious Oswald, thou rule of faith and model of meekness, splendour of Worcester and luminary of York, like a tree in the midst of paradise didst thou bear the fruit of the virtues for thy Lord, and therewith thou enlightenest all who cherish thine honoured memory and ever cry out to thee in prayer: Intercede, O holy bishop, that our souls may be saved.

At Matins

Canon of the holy bishop, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is Worcester and York keep Oswald's feast, in Tone IV

Ode I

Irmos: Parting the abyss of the Red Sea, God drowned Pharaoh therein, but led Moses across to the wilderness dryshod, and rained down manna as food for the people of Israel, in that He is mighty.

With hymns of praise let us honour Oswald the holy bishop, for by his mighty intercessions are we, the New Israel, led dryshod across the sundering abyss into the mansions of paradise.

O the lovingkindness of our mighty God, Who led thy family out of heathen idolatry into the promised land of His Church, as of old He led Israel across the Red Sea, O wondrous Oswald.

Renouncing all attachment to material things, O Oswald, thou didst bow thy neck beneath the yoke of monastic obedience, being instructed by the holy Dunstan and the blessed Odo.

Theotokion: Come, ye faithful, and with fitting hymns let us magnify the pure Theotokos, the divine tabernacle, the ark, the jar which ineffably contained Christ, the Manna which nourisheth our souls.


Irmos: Holy art Thou, O Lord our God! Make steadfast our hearts, that we may cry to Thee without ceasing: There is none righteous save Thee, O Lord!

Eagerly enkindling zeal within thy soul, O Oswald, thou didst fan to flame the spark of the divine fire which the blessed Odo descried in thee.

Singing Holy art Thou, O Lord our God, thou didst fill with spiritual delight the ears of those who hearkened to thy melodious chanting, O holy one.

Thou gavest no sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids, O saint, when thou didst commit to memory the whole Psalter and the monastic Rule.

Theotokion: Ever make our hearts steadfast in the virtues, O Lady, that we may cry out to Thee without ceasing: There is none more holy than thou among women!

Sessional hymn, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: Awed by the beauty of thy Virginity.

Awed by the beauty of thy virtues and the surpassing purity of thy soul, O Oswald, we call out in exaltation, saying: What human tongue can describe thy spiritual attainments, O saint of God? We are at a loss and are filled with holy fear! Wherefore, we cry: Great is the divine grace which abideth in thee, O holy one!

Glory, Now & ever: Theotokion

O Mistress who lovest mankind, who, after God, art the only far-famed and mighty helper of Christians and our sure intercessor amid tribulations, protect and preserve us, setting at nought all the counsels of our enemies who are skilled in evil, that, saved by thy mediation, we may hymn the condescension of thy Son.


Thy pure Mother, who knew not wedlock, seeing Thee hanging dead upon the Cross, O Christ, lamenting maternally, said: 'Wherewith hath the iniquitous and thankless assembly of the Jews, which hath delighted in Thy many and great gifts, rewarded Thee, O my Son? I hymn Thy divine condescension!'

Ode IV

Irmos: I heard report of Thee, O God, and I was afraid; I understood Thy works, O Lord, and I was filled with awe, for the earth is full of Thy praise.

Rome welcomed thee as a humble pilgrim, O venerable Oswald, whither thou didst journey in obedience and for the edification of thy soul.

At Glastonbury, Winchester and Fleury Oswald studied the precepts of the Lord; wherefore, report of his awesome piety filled all with awe.

Now let us praise the wondrous Oswald with hymns divine, for the Church of Christ hath been filled with his godly works and Christian virtues.

Theotokion: Desiring to understand what is beyond comprehension, the incarnation of the Word from thy womb, O Virgin, our minds are utterly defeated.

Ode V

Irmos: Send Thou a radiant dawn upon us, in that Thou art good; and guide us to the fear of Thee, O Master.

Ye faithful of Worcester, lift up your voices to praise the holy bishop, who taught you the fear of God.

O the radiance of the grace which abounded within thee and ever dawneth upon us, O holy bishop.

Ramsey in the Fens did Oswald choose as the site of his monastery, wherein monks might learn the fear of God.

Theotokion: Kneeling ever in homage to the all-pure Theotokos, in Worcester Oswald built a new cathedral to honour her.

Ode VI

Irmos: The souls of the righteous have cried out with gladness. Now a new covenant is made with the world, that the people may be restored by the sprinkling of the divine blood.

King Edward, whose innocent blood was vilely shed by the opponents of the monastic life, didst thou ably advise in the Christian rule of his earthly realm, O thou of great renown.

Every ruined monastery of thy province didst thou restore, O holy bishop, so that Deerhurst and Winchcombe, Pershore, Crowland and Evesham again rang with praises divine.

Eminent wast thou among the bishops of England, O Oswald rich in gifts divine; wherefore, on high thou dwellest now eternally among the splendid habitations of the righteous.

Theotokion: Paradise is now thy dwelling-place, O Virgin, where the souls of the righteous rejoice with gladness, having been restored to a divine state by the sprinkling of the precious blood of Christ.

Kontakion, in Tone IV

From heaven didst thou receive the radiance of grace divine, which made thee a mediator between God and men; for as a holy bishop of Christ, the great High Priest, thou didst ever offer up the sacred Oblation, bringing down peace from on high and spiritual consolation, O blessed and holy Oswald; wherefore, thou art the boast and joy of all England.


Irmos: O God of our fathers, let us not be put to shame, but grant that we may cry out to Thee with boldness: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

O Oswald, with the boldness thou hast before the God of our fathers ever beseech Him that those who honour thee may never be put to shame.

Sanctified by the Holy Spirit, thou didst ever offer up the unbloody Sacrifice to the Trinity, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers! Wisdom and prudence adorned thy pure soul, O saint of God, and thou didst teach all to cry with boldness: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Theotokion: After the God of our fathers it is to thee, O Theotokos, that we boldly turn for help in the midst of our manifold afflictions and tribulations.


Irmos: O Almighty Deliverer of all, descending into the midst of the flame Thou didst bedew the pious youths and didst teach them to sing: Bless and hymn the Lord, all ye works!

Lifting thine eyes to heaven, O wondrous one, as thou gavest thy soul into the hands of the Lord thou didst bless thy monks, saying: May the Lord bring us together in paradise!

Death overtook thee in Worcester cathedral, O Oswald, as thou wast washing the feet of twelve paupers, imitating the almighty Deliverer, Who descended from heaven to save us all.

Servants and masters, orphans and widows, lords and peasants, monks and clerics, all mourned the loss of the holy one; but still they sang: Bless and hymn the Lord, all ye works!

Theotokion: For thy sake doth the almighty Deliverer of all spare us in His lovingkindness, O all-glorious Virgin; wherefore, we ever strive to sing: Bless and hymn the Lord, all ye works!

Ode IX

Irmos: We all magnify Thy love for mankind, O Christ our Saviour, Thou glory of Thy servants and crown of the faithful, Who hast magnified the memory of her who gave Thee birth.

Edified by thy love for God and neighbour, the flock who loved thee in life, and were beloved of thee, rendered thee honour after thy pious repose, O faithful minister of our Saviour.

Adulf of York enshrined thine incorrupt body with fitting splendour, O glorious Oswald, servant of Christ, and a great concourse of the faithful magnified thy many wonders.

Thou wast servant of the Saviour, O wondrous one, and crown of all the faithful; wherefore, look with pity upon us who entreat thee with reverence and venerate thy holy memory.

Theotokion: Thee do we magnify, O all-immaculate one who gavest birth to Christ our Saviour in manner past all understanding; wherefore, cease thou never to intercede with Him on our behalf.

to top of page