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Menaion - February 24

Finding of Forerunner's Head

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MATINS

CHOIR

Mode 4.

God is the Lord, and He revealed Himself to us. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. [SAAS]

Verse 1: Give thanks to the Lord and call upon His name.

or: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.

Verse 2: All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them.

Verse 3: And this came about from the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Apolytikion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Come quickly.

The Forerunner's head has risen once again from the earth; * it sends forth the brilliant rays of incorruption and cures to the faithful all. * Above it has assembled the arrays of the Angels; * below it calls the human race to gather together. * In unison we offer up glory to Christ our God. [SD]

Glory. Repeat.

The Forerunner's head has risen once again from the earth; * it sends forth the brilliant rays of incorruption and cures to the faithful all. * Above it has assembled the arrays of the Angels; * below it calls the human race to gather together. * In unison we offer up glory to Christ our God. [SD]

From Octoechos - - -

Both now. Theotokion.

Mode 4.

O Theotokos, through you became manifest to us on earth the mystery, which was hid from eternity, and which the Angels themselves knew not: that God, uniting natures without confusion, becomes a man and accepts crucifixion for our salvation voluntarily. By virtue of this, resurrecting man whom He had first created, He saved our souls from death. [SD]

PRIEST

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

For Yours is the dominion, and Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Kathisma I.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Come quickly.

Now Christ has revealed to us your sacred head once again, * a most holy treasure hidden underground for so long, * O Prophet and Forerunner. * Therefore we have assembled for the feast of its Finding, * singing our God-inspired hymns in praise of the Savior, * who saves us from destruction, by your earnest prayers to Him. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode 4. Automelon.

Come quickly, O Lord, and prevent us from being enslaved * to foes who speak blasphemies against You, Christ our God, * and boastingly threaten us. * Annihilate by the power * of Your Cross those who fight us. * Let them know how the faith of the Orthodox has power, * accepting Your Mother's prayers for us in Your love of man. [SD]

Kathisma II.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. You who were lifted.

Your sacred Head was found through strange circumstances; * for it was hidden underground in a cavern, * and it came up like gold out of a mine, enriching all * who came to participate in the feast of its Finding, * singing hymns of praise to Christ, our Creator and Savior. * O blessed Baptist of the Lord, through you * He gives forgiveness and mercy abundantly. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode 4. You who were lifted.

We the unworthy shall not ever be silent, * O Theotokos, from proclaiming your powers. * For were you not concerned to intercede for us, * who would have delivered us * from such manifold dangers, * and who else would up to now * have preserved us in freedom? * O Lady, we shall not depart from you, * for you ever save your servants * from evils of every kind. [SD]

Kathisma III.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. You appeared today.

To a woman Herod gave * your most august head, * and he thus transgressed the law, * O holy Forerunner St. John. * Now at its finding we cry to you, * Entreat the Savior that mercy be given to all. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode 4. You appeared today.

Moses saw the burning bush, * therein perceiving * you, the one who held the fire * that leads our souls into the light, * and you were not burnt, all-blameless one, * Lady, but rather * were filled with the dew of grace. [SD]

DEACON

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

PRIEST

For blessed is your name, and glorified is your kingdom, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Antiphon I.

Mode 4.

Since my youth have many passions waged war against me. O my Savior, nonetheless help me and save me. (2) [SD]

You, the haters of Zion, be put to shame by the Lord, for like thatch in fire you will be completely dried up. (2) [SD]

Glory.

From the Holy Spirit every soul receives life, and through cleansing is lifted and brightened, in a hidden, sacred manner, by the trinal Monad. [SD]

Both now.

From the Holy Spirit do the streams of grace well forth; they irrigate everything created, so that life be engendered. [SD]

Prokeimenon. Psalm 131.

There I shall cause to spring up a horn for David; there I prepared a lamp for my anointed. (2)

Verse: Remember David, O Lord, and all his meekness.

There I shall cause to spring up a horn for David; there I prepared a lamp for my anointed. [SAAS]

DEACON

Let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

PRIEST

For you are holy, our God, who rest among the Saints, and to you we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

CHOIR

Amen.

Mode 2.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. (2) Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. [SAAS]

DEACON

Let us pray to the Lord our God that we may be made worthy to hear the holy Gospel.

(Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.)

DEACON

Wisdom. Arise. Let us hear the Holy Gospel.

PRIEST

Peace be with all.

(And with your spirit.)

PRIEST

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

DEACON

Let us be attentive.

(Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.)

PRIEST (from the gate)

Lk. 7:17-30

At that time, a report concerning Jesus spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. The disciples of John told him of all these things. And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me." When the messengers of John had gone, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings' courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.' I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. [RSV]

(Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.)

READER

Psalm 50 (51).

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy; and according to the abundance of Your compassion, blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from my lawlessness and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my lawlessness, and my sin is always before me. Against You only have I sinned and done evil in Your sight; that You may be justified in Your words, and overcome when You are judged. For behold, I was conceived in transgressions, and in sins my mother bore me. Behold, You love truth; You showed me the unknown and secret things of Your wisdom. You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed; You shall wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow. You shall make me hear joy and gladness; my bones that were humbled shall greatly rejoice. Turn Your face from my sins, and blot out all my transgressions. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your guiding Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall turn back to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall greatly rejoice in Your righteousness. O Lord, You shall open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. For if You desired sacrifice, I would give it; You will not be pleased with whole burnt offerings. A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken and humbled heart God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Your good pleasure to Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be built; then You will be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with offerings and whole burnt offerings; then shall they offer young bulls on Your altar. [SAAS]

From Menaion - - -

CHOIR

Glory. Mode 2.

At the intercession of Your holy Forerunner, O Lord of mercy, blot out my many offences. [SD]

Both now.

At the intercession of the Theotokos, O Lord of mercy, blot out my many offences. [SD]

Idiomelon. Mode 2.

Verse: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy; and according to the abundance of Your compassion, blot out my transgression. [SAAS]

Your Head, that all-venerable repository of divine concepts, which clearly foresaw the mystery of the ineffable Essence, has arisen today out of the storehouses of the earth, as it were out of a mother's womb, O John, who are worthy of all praise. It poured forth the fragrant oil of sanctification and perfumed everything under the sun. It spiritually preaches the way of repentance, and it intercedes with the Savior of all, on behalf of our souls. [SD]

DEACON

O God, save your people and bless your inheritance. Look upon your world with mercy and compassion. Raise the Orthodox Christians in glory, and send down upon us your rich mercies, through the intercessions of our most pure Lady the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, the power of the precious and life giving Cross, the protection of the honorable, bodiless Powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable and glorious prophet, and forerunner John the Baptist, the finding of whose venerable head we celebrate; the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles, our Fathers among the Saints, the great hierarchs and ecumenical teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, Athanasios, Cyril, and John the Merciful, patriarchs of Alexandria; Nicholas, bishop of Myra, Spyridon, bishop of Trimythous, Nektarios of Pentapolis, the wonder-workers; the holy, glorious great Martyrs George the Victorious, Demetrios the Myrobletes, Theodore the Teron, and Theodore the General, Menas the Wonderworker, the Hieromartyrs Haralambos and Eleftherios; the holy, glorious, and victorious martyrs; the glorious great Martyr and all-laudable Euphemia; the holy and glorious Martyrs Thecla, Barbara, Anastasia, Katherine, Kyriake, Fotene, Marina, Paraskeve and Irene; of our holy God-bearing Fathers; (local patron saint); the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and of all your Saints. We beseech you, only merciful Lord, hear us sinners who pray to you and have mercy on us.

CHOIR

Lord, have mercy. (12)

PRIEST

Through the mercy, compassion, and love of mankind of your only-begotten Son, with whom you are blessed, together with your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

From Menaion - - -

READER

Kontakion.

Mode 2. In seeking the heights.

O Prophet of God and Forerunner of grace divine, since we have obtained your Head from beneath the earth, as if a most sacred rose, we are receiving the healings continually. And once again, as formerly, you are preaching repentance throughout the world. [SD]

Oikos.

O John, you became greater than all other mortals, having received the Lord's own testimony about this. Therefore I am afraid to present you with words of praise; but compelled by my longing, I have dared to try my hand at this poem. Please do not refuse to collaborate with me, O all-lauded one, so that I may be able to crown your holy Head, O thrice-blessed one. And once again, you are preaching repentance throughout the world. [SD]

Synaxarion.

From the Menaion.

On February 24, we commemorate the finding of the venerable head of the holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist.

By the intercessions of Your Forerunner, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Katavasias Odes 1-8

CHOIR

Katavasias of Theotokos

Ode i. Mode 4.

I open my mouth and pray the Spirit fill it, like David said, * to pour out a good word to the Queen and Mother of God. * I will celebrate * her feast with joy and gladness * and sing to her merrily, lauding her miracles. [SD]

Ode iii.

Establish your servants who extol you, * O Mother of God, for they have formed * a spiritual choir for you * the living and abundant fount; * and graciously in your divine glory give glorious crowns to them. [SD]

Ode iv.

When the Prophet Habakkuk heard the divine * and incomprehensible counsel of Your Incarnation * from the Virgin, O Most High, * considering, he cried aloud: * Glory to Your power, O Lord my God. [SD]

Ode v.

Amazed was the universe by your divine magnificence. * You who were perpetually virgin * carried the heavenly God of all in your womb * and gave birth to the eternal Son, * who awards salvation to all who sing hymns of praise to you. [SD]

Ode vi.

O godly-minded believers, come * and celebrate this sacred and venerable feast and thus extol * the Theotokos, and clap our hands, * and glorify our God who was truly born of her. [SD]

Ode vii.

Godly-minded three * did not adore created things in the Creator's stead; * rather, disdaining the threat * of fire, they trampled it, and joyfully they sang: * "O supremely praised * and most exalted Lord and God * of the fathers, You are blessed." [SD]

Ode viii.

We praise and we bless and we worship the Lord.

Guiltless were those Servants in the furnace. * The Son of the Theotokos went and rescued them. * He who was prefigured then, * having been incarnate now, * is gathering the whole wide world into His Church to sing: * "O all you works of the Lord, to all ages * sing praises to the Lord and exalt Him beyond measure." [SD]

DEACON

Let us honor and magnify in song the Theotokos and the Mother of the light.

CHOIR

Ode ix.

Megalynarion. Mode 4.

Verse: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Ode 9: Katavasia

Ode ix. Katavasia. Mode 4.

All you born on earth, * with festival lamps in hand, in spirit leap for joy; * and all you the heavenly angelic orders, join in and celebrate; * and honoring the sacred wonders of the Mother of God, * sing the joyful salutation, "O rejoice, * Theotokos, all-blest, ever-virgin pure!" [SD]

DEACON

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

PRIEST

For all the powers of heaven praise You and give You glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Exaposteilarion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 2. On the mountain.

You precious Skull has risen up * from the hidden recesses * of the earth shining brilliantly, * holy John the Forerunner, * lamp of the light uncreated. * As we lovingly honor * the feast of its discovery, * we pray to be delivered from all distress, * and that this year's fasting will benefit us, * through your entreaties to the Lord, * O Baptist of the Savior. [SD]

Theotokion.

Mode 2. On the mountain.

All-holy Virgin, all the hosts * of godly-minded faithful * find refreshment in faithfully * worshiping, and extolling you as the true Theotokos. * So, by your intercessions, * grant us to run the course of Lent * with success in a manner pleasing to God, * and to venerate the Cross, and to honor * the saving Passion of your Son, * Jesus our God and Savior. [SD]

Lauds. Mode 4.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Praise Him, all you His angels; praise Him, all you His hosts. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Show Stichologia

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars and light.

Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the Lord's name.

For He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created.

He established them forever and unto ages of ages; He set forth His ordinance, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you dragons and all the deeps.

Fire and hail, snow and ice, stormy wind, which perform His word.

Mountains and all the hills, fruitful trees and all cedars.

Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds.

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth.

Young men and maidens, elders with younger, let them praise the Lord's name, for His name alone is exalted.

His thanksgiving is in earth and heaven. And He shall exalt the horn of His people.

A hymn for all His saints, for the children of Israel, a people who draw near to Him.

Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of His holy ones.

Let Israel be glad in Him who made him, and let the children of Zion greatly rejoice in their King.

Let them praise His name with dance; with tambourine and harp let them sing to Him.

For the Lord is pleased with His people, and He shall exalt the gentle with salvation.

The holy ones shall boast in glory, and they shall greatly rejoice on their beds.

The high praise of God shall be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.

To deal retribution to the nations, reproving among the peoples.

To shackle their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron.

To fulfill among them the written judgment: this glory have all His holy ones.

Praise God in His saints; praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Hide Stichologia

   

Stichera for the Forerunner.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. You have given.

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness. [SAAS]

Your all-honored head inaugurates the all-holy fast of Lent, * O all-lauded Forerunner John; * it offers believers all * sweet delights of holy * grace and its divine gifts. * As we partake of them with faith * we make the difficult road of fasting sweet, * and loyally we honor you and also call out to Christ our God: * "You, O Jesus almighty God, * are the Lord who has saved our souls." [SD]

Praise Him with the sound of trumpet; praise Him with the harp and lyre. [SAAS]

Your all-honored head inaugurates the all-holy fast of Lent, * O all-lauded Forerunner John; * it offers believers all * sweet delights of holy * grace and its divine gifts. * As we partake of them with faith * we make the difficult road of fasting sweet, * and loyally we honor you and also call out to Christ our God: * "You, O Jesus almighty God, * are the Lord who has saved our souls." [SD]

Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings and flute. [SAAS]

Dripping with perfume is the all-holy head of the Forerunner, * like a fountain that never stops. * Today it is on display * on the holy table, * mystically exuding a sweet and spiritual scent, * which drives away the unpleasantness of ills. * It fills with joy and happiness all those who earnestly say aloud: "You, O Jesus almighty God, * are the Lord who has saved our souls." [SD]

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with triumphant cymbals; let everything that breathes praise the Lord. [SAAS]

Forerunner, your sacred Skull cut off the heads of the lawless foes * of the Lord, like a sharpened sword, * but poured out the gifts of grace, * like a holy shower, * over all the lawful. * Therefore we loyally extol * and sing the praises of you, O Baptist John, * the friend of the Creator of the world, to whom we say earnestly: "You, O Jesus almighty God, * are the Lord who has saved our souls." [SD]

Glory.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 2.

The all-venerable Head of Your Baptist was revealed today, O Lord, and we have faithfully brought it up from the earth, and accompanied it with the voice of praise. Now we, Your sinful servants, offer it to You as an intercession, O Lover of humanity. We pray that through it we may obtain forgiveness and great mercy from You on Judgment Day. [SD]

From Octoechos - - -

Both now. Theotokion.

Theotokos, you are the true vine that produced the fruit of life. Lady, we fervently entreat you to intercede along with the Forerunner and all the saints, that our souls be treated mercifully. [SD]

Great Doxology

Glory be to You who showed the light. Glory in the highest to God. His peace is on earth, His good pleasure in mankind. [SD]

We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You, we give thanks to You for Your great glory.

Lord King, heavenly God, Father, Ruler over all; Lord, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and You, O Holy Spirit.

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, You who take away the sins of the world.

Accept our supplication, You who sit at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us.

For You alone are holy, You alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Every day I will bless You, and Your name will I praise to eternity, and to the ages of ages.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, that we be kept without sin.

Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name to the ages. Amen.

Let Your mercy be on us, O Lord, as we have set our hope on You.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Lord, You have been our refuge from generation to generation. I said: Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.

Lord, I have fled to You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we shall see light.

Continue Your mercy to those who know You.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Apolytikion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Come quickly.

The Forerunner's head has risen once again from the earth; * it sends forth the brilliant rays of incorruption and cures to the faithful all. * Above it has assembled the arrays of the Angels; * below it calls the human race to gather together. * In unison we offer up glory to Christ our God. [SD]