Daily Archives: September 13, 2021

Commemoration of the Holy Martyr Edmund, King of East Anglia


Commemoration of the Holy Martyr Edmund, King of East Anglia


At ‘Lord I have cried’…six stichira, Tone I.

Now come let us worship the King of Kings, glorious in His servant King Edmund, through whom He has made strong His Church and given joy to the Hosts of Heaven and to the faithful on earth.

Found to have grown to youth in grace and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the Providence of God raised Edmund to the throne of the Eastern Kingdom, establishing him as the noble guardian of the Church, for which he strove even unto the shedding of his blood.

Rejoice, O servant-king of the Angles, servant of the King of Angels, O Edmund, flower of martyrs like unto the rose and the lily, thou who wast ever mindful of the True Faith, pour forth prayers to the Lord of all for the salvation of our souls.

Exult now, O Holy Church of the English Land, behold to thee it is given to sing of the noble King and Martyr Edmund, who triumphing over the princes of this world, went up to heaven with great victory and now intercedes for our souls.

The righteous servant of Christ Edmund, full of the Holy Spirit, spoke to the evil heathen: ‘Thy friendship bends not my will and thy threats torment me not, for it is glorious to die for the Lord and fire and sword are sweet to me above honey and the honeycomb’.

The noble Edmund, full of virtue and adorned with holy Godliness, spoke through the Holy Spirit: ‘Threats of banishment make me not afraid. It is pleasant to die for the love of God, behold may it be granted to me to become a sacrifice for God’.

Glory …. Tone VI.

Bound with chains to the tree, the humble Edmund is piteously mocked and scourged. For the love of Christ he gladly embraces the many ways of death, as a target he is covered with arrows. But he prays without ceasing to Christ our God with countenance serene.

If there is a Polyeleion, then the hymn of the resurrection to the Mother of God, Tone VI, ‘Who will not bless thee…’

Reading from Isaiah (43: 9-14)

Thus said the Lord: Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: our let them hear, and say, it is truth. You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore you are my witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. Thus says the Lord. The Holy One of Israel.

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (3: 1-9)

The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction, but they are in peace. For though they are punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded, for God proved them and found them worthy for Himself. As gold in the furnace has He tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in Him shall understand the truth; and such as be faithful in love shall abide with Him; for grace and mercy is to His saints and visitation for His elect.

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (5: 15-23; 6: 1-3)

The righteous live unto the ages; their reward is also with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand, for with His right hand shall He cover them, and with His arm shall He protect them. He shall take to Him His jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature His weapon for the revenge of His enemies. He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate and true judgment instead of a helmet. He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. His severe wrath shall He sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with Him against the unwise. Then shall the right-arming thunderbolts go abroad, and from the clouds, as from a well-drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark. And from the hailstones full of wrath and cast as out of a sin Tone bow the cities shall fall down, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them. Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away; thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the Thrones of the mighty. Hear therefore, O you kings, and understand; learn ye that be judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule the people and glory in the multitude of nations, for power is given you of the Lord and sovereignty from the Highest.

At the aposticha, these stichira, Tone IV.

The holy one of God grows bolder as the pain grows fiercer; set as a target he is showered with arrows like unto a new Sebastian. Yet through all, the martyr stands unconquered and the soldier of Christ is victorious.

Verse: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree and will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

The tyrant orders the beheading of the martyr, who still breathes but confesses Christ, and so Edmund consummates his martyrdom and rejoicing in spirit he goes up to God, and his most holy severed head utters words of prayer.

Verse: Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God.

The faithful folk set out to seek the head that is parted from the body but lives still, and they cry aloud: ‘Alas, good shepherd. Alas, kind father King Edmund, where art thou?’But the Lord hears the cries of the faithful and receives the prayers of his servants.

Glory…. Tone VI.

The head of the humble martyr utters these words: ‘Behold the one whom ye seek, the kind Father has compassion on His beloved whom he consoles with gentle words’. Wondrous is the Hand of God, for there lies a wolf watching with sorrow over the martyr and from joy the people burst forth into tears at this wonder most strange.

Troparion, Tone IV.

In his sufferings the Martyr-King Edmund, exchanged an earthly crown for a heavenly one. And making glad in Thy strength, O Christ our God, he overcame his tormentors and laid low the vanities of the demons. Now let all the peoples of this land make glad with him, that through his prayers our souls may be saved


At ‘God is the Lord’, the troparion of the saint, Tone IV (twice).

Glory.… Now & ever.… & the following hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone.

After the first reading of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, Tone I.

Loathing the armies of this world and seeking the glory of heaven, thou didst endure torture and death, O holy martyr Edmund, wherefore this day we celebrate thy holy memory and offer praise to Christ. (Twice)

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

We pray to thee, true Mother and Virgin; with love we beseech thy compassion and flee to thy goodness, O Pure One, for in thee do we sinners find protection and salvation in affliction.

After the second reading from the Psalter, this sessional hymn, Tone IV.

O invincible martyr and indomitable witness Edmund, this day set thee free from the bonds of the earth and with triumph led thy soul up to heaven, now as thou dost shine before the Throne of God in thy bright raiment, do thou intercede for us on earth who sing thy praises.

Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God.

To thee we sing a hymn of praise, O Virgin Mother of God, and we acknowledge that the Word of the Father, Christ our God, was Incarnate of thee the only Pure and Blessed One.

After the Polyeleos, the magnification.

We magnify thee, O holy martyr Edmund, and we honour thy honourable sufferings, which thou didst endure, for the love of Christ.

Verse: God is our refuge and our strength, our helper in the troubles that grievously befall us.

Sessional hymn, Tone IV.

In faith let us praise the Royal Martyr of Christ Edmund, the invincible soldier famed for his miracles and great conqueror of the enemy, for he bestows healing on all who come to him in faith, and taking away all pain he intercedes for the suffering.

Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God.

Thou art an unassailable bulwark for us Christians, O Virgin Mother of God, for fleeing unto thee we remain unharmed, and should we fall again we have thee as our intercessor, wherefore we give thanks and cry aloud to thee, Rejoice O thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee!

Gradual, first antiphon of Tone IV, From my youth…

Prokimenon, Tone IV: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree and will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Verse: Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of God.

Gospel according to Luke (12: 2-12)

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say to you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say to you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the Angels of God: But he that denies me before men shall be denied before the Angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that blasphemes against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven. And when they bring you to the synagogues, and to magistrates, and powers, take no thought how or what thing you shall answer, or what you shall say: For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say.

After Psalm 50, stichira, Tone VI.

Today the English land is enlightened with the rays of thy passion-bearer, and adorned with flowers the Church of God cries to thee, O holy martyr Edmund: as thou art favoured by Christ, O fervent intercessor, pray without ceasing for the salvation of our souls.

Supplicatory canon to the Mother of God with six troparia, then the following canon to the saint with eight troparia, Tone VIII.

Ode I

Irmos: Crossing the water as if on dry land, thus fleeing the toils of Egypt, the Israelites cried aloud proclaiming: now let us sing to our God and our redeemer.

Refrain: Holy Martyr Edmund, pray to God for us.

Thy memorial has now shone forth brighter than the sun, O Royal Martyr of Christ. for it has cast the beaming rays of thy miracles over all this land, O bearer of light, all-wise Edmund.

Hero in righteous combat, winner of countless victories, grant me to sing of thy sufferings and struggles valiantly endured, thou hast died for the love of Christ in prayer and joy and gladness.

Ever skilful in hand, thou hast boldly appeared in battle like a new David, for as David wrestled with Goliath, so hast thou prevailed against the arrows of the foe by the arrows of thy words, O thrice-crowned Edmund.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O holy maiden and Mother, thy childbirth is unsearchable and fair, dread and strange. For thou hast fed the perfect God from thy breasts: O wonder beyond all words, for thou gavest suck without having known a man.


Irmos: As Thou art the fashioner of the vault of the heavens, O Lord, so too thou art the founder of the Church; do Thou therefore establish me in unfeigned love for Thee who art the height of things sought for and the Staff of the faithful, Thou who alone lovest mankind.

O glorious and blessed martyr Edmund, the humble and righteous King who shines with the crown of martyrdom, pray to God that those who call on thee in Godliness may be delivered from every affliction.

Enlightened by abundant radiance, thou, O all wise Edmund, dost drive away the gloomy despondency of the passions from those who in faith hymn thee.

Confirmed in hope and love, fenced around by faith, thou who art strong in the strength of Christ, thou, O Edmund, hast preached the kingdom and thus overthrown the errors of heathendom.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O most holy Virgin, thou hast borne in the flesh Him who has enlightened all the ends of the earth, who was begotten from the Father before all things were, and therefore we honour thee as the true Birthgiver of God.

Sessional hymn, Tone V.

Enlightened with the lustre of virtue and adorned with the glory of martyrdom, thou shinest brighter than the sun and dost enlighten those who in faith celebrate thy light-bearing memory, O glorious Martyr Edmund.

Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God.

O Ever-Virgin Mother of God, the great miracle of thy conception and thine ineffable childbirth was shown forth in thee and I am filled with awe and amazement, for thy glory shines forth on all for the salvation of our souls.

Ode IV

Irmos: I have hearkened and I have heard of the awesome mystery of Thy dispensation, O Lord, for I have come to the knowledge of Thy works and sing the praises of Thy divinity.

Afflictions beyond number beset Thy saints in the English Land, O Lord, and the hordes of heathen rose to slaughter the faithful. But Thou didst not suffer darkness to overcome the light of the Gospel that Thy saints had kindled, for Thou didst raise up the glorious Edmund, the mighty protector of Thy Church and people.

Raising up thy cross in the sight of the heathen, O Lord, the noble King Edmund besought Thy mercy against the insolent foemen. For he entrusted to Thee the just cause of his nation, that kings and priests and people might bless Thee, O God, for evermore.

The enemy failed to acknowledge thy reproving words and ordered thy body to be pierced with arrows like unto a new Sebastian. Thus pierced, O noble Edmund, thou hast called on the Name of the Saviour in unceasing prayer.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Thou art blessed unto all generations, O Mother and Virgin, O mountain overshadowed by the grace of God, who for our sakes didst give birth to Christ, the Light of the nations, save us by thine intercessions.

Ode V

Irmos: Enlighten us by Thy precepts and Thy commands, O Lord, and by the lofty power of Thine arm, bestow Thy peace upon us all as Thou alone lovest mankind.

Do thou, who hast been richly adorned by Christ for thy boldness as a martyr, now beseech Him earnestly for the salvation of those who sing thy praises, O all-blessed Edmund, our noble guardian.

Ever rejoicing with the angelic hosts, O holy and righteous martyr, and filled to the full with undying and blessed glory, do thou guard thy kingdom from every stirring of the new heathen and protect all those who flee to thee for refuge.

Do Thou who art merciful, O Christ our God, deliver us from every need, calming the many turmoils of sin and peril, and accept, O Lord, the fervent prayers of thy holy servant Edmund.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O Most Holy Mother of God, thou hast appeared far above the Cherubim and Seraphim, for thou, O most pure one, hast alone received in thy womb the God who cannot be contained. Now strengthen by thy bold intercessions those who hymn thee together with the holy martyr Edmund.

Ode VI

Irmos: I pour forth my entreaties to the Lord and to Him I proclaim my sorrows, for many woes fill my soul and my life draws nigh to its end, therefore, do Thou now raise me up from corruption, O Lord my God.

Thy manly and noble deeds are unsurpassed, Father to the widow, the orphan and the poor, righteous guardian of the church, O Royal Martyr Edmund, we praise thee in song, O all blessed one.

Not yielding to sharp and grievous tortures, thou hast gone to them as if they were pleasures, abiding with the Lord in prayer and calling unceasingly on his holy name. though pierced by arrows to the tree, yet thy prayers ring out in victory down all the ages.

Now let us dance and make glad like David of old, singing a hymn of praise, O you people, for we have found the thrice-crowned Edmund, Virgin, King and Martyr, who prays to God for the salvation of us all.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Now do we seek refuge in thee, O Most Pure Virgin. Save and guard us by thy prayers, for as Mother of Him who has power over all things, thine intercessions are mighty indeed.

Kontakion, Tone II: As a field tilled by the Holy Spirit, thou hast been shown forth as a most precious husbandman of grace, gathering in sheaves of virtue, for sowing in tears thou dost reap in gladness, and having fought the good fight unto the shedding of thy blood, thou hast received Christ, therefore do thou intercede for the salvation of our souls.

Ikos: Having upheld the True Faith at the hands of the heathen Northmen, O martyr Edmund, thou wast found worthy to exchange an earthly crown for a heavenly one.Thus inspired by thine example, we too beseech thee that we may receive the reward of eternal blessedness, therefore do thou intercede for the salvation of our souls.


Irmos: Once, from out of Judea, the children went down to Babylon. There they trampled down the flames of the fiery furnace, while singing their faith in the Trinity: O God of our Fathers, blessed art Thou.

Worthily emulating thy Master on the Cross, O holy martyr Edmund, thou wast bound to the tree, thou glorious saint of the Church of Christ, and carrying off the victory, thou art Her guardian, therefore do thou preserve Her through thine intercessions.

As martyr unvanquished, O all-wise Edmund, and as conqueror over suffering and undefeated champion of the faith, do thou fence around all those who praise thee with holy prayers.

Prudently husbanding the divine seed, thou didst make it to increase by watering it with the streams of thy blood, and by the zeal of thy sacrifice thou hast quenched the insolence of the heathen.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Thou art the glory of all, O Pure Virgin, thou art the strength of those who confess thee to be the Mother of God, Whom thou didst bear.


Irmos: The king of heaven, whom all the hosts of angels hymn in glory, now let us praise and exalt for evermore.

The flood of grievous passions, troubles and perils and all devices of the demons now cease at thine intercessions, O Royal Martyr and righteous servant of Christ Edmund.

O invincible thrice-crowned martyr Edmund, enlightened by the threefold sun of the Trinity, thou champion of Godliness and true faith, pray for us who sing to thee.

Adorned by a heavenly crown and diadem and sceptre, clothed in purple raiment dyed red by thy blood, thou dost reign with the King of Heaven, O all-blessed one.

Hymn to the Mother of God: No Ever-Blessed and Most Pure Virgin Mother, thou hast borne the God begotten by the Father from before all ages, Him Who shone forth before time. Therefore all peoples glorify thee as the true Mother of God.

Ode IX

Irmos: Most rightly do we confess thee as the Mother of God, we who through thee seek salvation, O Most Pure Virgin, therefore with all the choirs of heaven we magnify thee.

O blessed Edmund, do thou beseech Christ our God without ceasing, for we sing thy praises as martyr, as scourge of heathen tyrants, as healer of blind and sick, as protector of the poor, as vigilant guardian of the true faith, and as advocate who can never be confounded.

O thrice-blessed saint of God, the Master of all has given thee the rich prizes of thy contests, standing by His side as martyr with boldness and joy, guard those who call upon thee with faith and honour.

Resplendent in thine incorrupt body, O Edmund, the glory and light of thy relics shone forth upon the burgh named after thee, and from there throughout all the English Land. O light from the East, thou hast shone forth to many peoples down all the ages, now proclaiming the incorruptible victory of Christ, we await thy return before the end as we proclaim thy martyrdom to all the nations.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Yea, the ark of testimony, O most pure Virgin, in which the table, the jar and the golden tabernacle forefigure thee, for thus thou hast held in thy womb, O Birthgiver of God, the Word made flesh, Who has no beginning.


 O-all praised Edmund, noble protector of the English Land, thou hast never failed any man. Watching over this thy land, intercede with Christ our God that the new heathen may be driven back and our souls may be saved.

Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God.

With thy mighty protection ever guard us thy servants from all the assaults of the enemy, O Pure One: for in thee alone do we have a refuge from all danger.

At the Praises, four stichira, Tone IV.

Today all this land is made bright by the rays of thy martyr, O Christ, and adorned with flowers of victory the Church cries aloud to thee, O noble Edmund, the servant of Christ and fervent intercessor, who through thy miracles dost move every tongue to glorify Him who has honoured thee, do thou ever pray to the Lord for the salvation of our souls.

O thrice-crowned Edmund, Virgin, King and Martyr, triumphant and thrice-blessed, having given thyself up as the Lord at Gethsemane, bound to the tree and pierced by arrows, thou hast hurled back the heathen host of error and confessed Christ in glory, pray thou that our souls may be saved.

O brethren, let us praise in spirit the living arrow of sharp faith, Edmund the famous Martyr-King, the wise and honourable one, who was pierced for the love of Christ, dangers forged, tortures burdened, all manner of chastisement smote his virgin body as his head fell, but love conquered nature and the holy one made his way through death to the company of Christ, the Saviour of our souls.

Glory …. In the same tone.

Laying down His life for the world, Edmund the King who loved Thee, Christ, the King of Kings, made haste to die for Thee, for having divine zeal in his heart, he offered himself up to Thee; therefore let us sing of the faith of this glorious and honourable servant of Christ who emulated the Master, that our souls may be saved.

Now & ever….

Let us now sing with faith and joy a hymn to thee, the Mother of God who art praised by all, do thou beseech the Lord that our souls may be saved.


At the Beatitudes, eight troparia from Odes III and IV.

Prokimenon, Tone VII: The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.

Verse: Hearken, O God, to my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee.

The Second Epistle to Timothy (2:1-10)

Brethren: Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strives for masteries, yet is he not crowned, unless he strives lawfully. The husbandman that labours must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord gives thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my Gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Alleluia, Tone IV.

Verse: Shout with jubilation unto the Lord all the earth; sing unto His name, give glory in praise of Him.

Verse: For Thou hast proved us, O God, and by fire Thou hast tried us even as silver is tried by fire.

Gospel according to John (15: 16-17)

The Lord said: You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do to you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no other man did, they would not have had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But (this comes to pass), that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify to me: And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.

Communion Verse.

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

Commemoration of the Holy and Right-Believing Alfred the Great, first King of the English  


Commemoration of the Holy and Right-Believing Alfred the Great, first King of the English

Note: The service to the Holy and Right-Believing King Alfred may be transferred to the previous or to the following day, or to such other day as the community may choose, so as to avoid conflicting with the feast of the Great-Martyr Demetrius.

At Vespers

At ‘Lord, I have cried’, 3 stichira, Tone I.

Thou gavest a mighty weapon to Thy King Alfred: the truth of Thy faith, with which he defended an earthly kingdom in wisdom and godliness, and so has been vouchsafed the heavenly kingdom by Thy loving-kindness. Therefore with him do we glorify Thy loving providence, O Almighty Lord, Thou Saviour of our souls.

Thou Who alone lovest mankind gavest thy King Alfred good counsel, the wisdom of Solomon, the meekness of David and the faith of the apostles, for Thou art the King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore with him do we glorify Thy loving providence, O Almighty Lord, Thou Saviour of our souls.

Thou didst know the psalms of David the King by heart, acknowledging Christ as God, for He reigns over all and thou, O Alfred who lovest Christ, wast appointed to be an earthly king and reign over all. Therefore with him do we glorify Thy loving providence, O Almighty Lord, Thou Saviour of our souls.

Glory, Tone I. 

O Alfred born in Wantage, enlightened through baptism by the Holy Spirit and shown to be invincible among kings, seated upon thy throne in the English capital of Winchester, thou gavest thy kingdom to thy Creator. Therefore, as thou hast boldness, cease not to pray to Christ our God, that He may grant all who honour thy memory forgiveness of sins and great mercy.

Now and ever…. Hymn to the Birthgiver of God or this hymn to the Cross and to the Birthgiver of God, in the same tone.

When of old the unblemished Ewe-lamb, the most pure Sovereign Lady, beheld her Lamb lifted up upon the Cross, she cried out as a mother and marvelled: ‘What is this sight, new and all-glorious, O my sweet Child? How is it that the thankless people have betrayed Thee to the judgement seat of Pilate and condemn the Life of all to death? Yet do I hymn Thine ineffable condescension, O Word!’

At the aposticha, these stichira, Tone VI.

O divinely crowned Alfred, helmsman of the English faithful and protector of the flock of Christ, thou didst receive thy sceptre from God as the sign of salvation for thy people, whereby thou didst subdue the heathen to the Cross, which thou hadst as thine invincible weapon, O wise one.

Verse: I have raised up one chosen out of My people; I have found David My servant.

Truly blessed and hallowed is the pious womb which bore thee, O peace-loving Alfred, thou joy and glory of the English land, teller of truth, bulwark of the faith, restoration of the Сhurch and learning, protection of the orphan and the widow, and merciful almsgiver to Jerusalem and India.

Verse: Wherefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness.

With love for God, thou didst rise up from thy fen fastness at Athelney to fight the heathen as a valiant warrior of Christ, then turning to spiritual warfare, thou didst restore thy land, rebuilding the Church, trampling down demons, baptising the heathen, and granting words of wisdom, learning and laws to all.

Glory, Tone VI.

The royal and never-waning star was called to hallow his people anew. Guided by holy Cuthbert and Neot, loving all the saints, receiving the understanding of the Spirit and being honoured as a far-famed king, thou didst restore the Church of God and monastic life, O Alfred, thou glory of Christian kings, noble by birth and by soul, pray for our souls.

Now and ever…. Hymn to the Birthgiver of God or this hymn to the Cross and to the Birthgiver of God, in the same tone.

O Mother, beholding Me hanging upon the Tree as thy Son and God, Who fixed the earth upon the waters and shaped all creation, weep not for Me, for I shall arise in glory and lay waste the kingdom of hell; I shall destroy its power with compassion, deliver its captives from its wickedness and lead them to My Father, for He loves mankind.

Troparion of the saint, Tone IV.

Hearkening to the White Christ, thou camest forth from thy flood-girt fastness to overcome the heathen and lead them forth to holy baptism. Thou didst build churches, strongholds, shires and swift ships, restoring the law of God and making thyself beloved of all. O wise King and glory of free England, who reignest in the Winchester of the heavenly England, thou who didst vanquish heathendom by Christendom, establish anew the Orthodox Faith in thy land that we may glorify God, Who alone made thee great.


At ‘God is the Lord’, the troparion of the saint, twice; Glory…Now and ever…. Hymn to the Birthgiver of God. Canon of the saint, Tone VIII.

Ode 1

Irmos: Having crossed the water as though it were dry land and escaped the evil of Egypt, the Israelite cried aloud: Let us sing to our Deliverer and God!

Refrain: Holy, Right-Believing King Alfred, pray to God for us.

O Thou, the King of heaven, through the entreaties of Thy favourite Alfred, Who sought wisdom and truth from his youth up and took consolation in psalms and prayers, free my lowly soul from sin.

As one who loved the kingdom on high, O great Alfred the Wise, England’s Shepherd and England’s Darling, believing with a pure mind and loving God’s saints, thou dost worship and preach the King and Master of all.

Illumined by the divine light, O righteous Alfred, thou knewest that true nobility is in the mind and so rebuilt a House of Wisdom, most sincerely entrusting thyself to the King of the ages and teaching thy people the commandments of Christ.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: O Sovereign Lady, thou portal of the Divine Dayspring, open to me the door of repentance and by thine intercession deliver me from the gates of deadly sin.


Irmos: O Lord, Shaper 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.

Striving to receive heavenly rewards, O right-believing Alfred, thou hast followed Him Who called thee, in no wise being tempted by the demon darkness of the heathen, but becoming a beacon of light to them through the divine Spirit.

Having cleaved to Christ and set all thy hope on Him, thou, O wise King, hast shown that true greatness is in forgiveness, thus attaining the heavenly kingdom, granted unto us by the All-good God through His all-pure sufferings.

Burning with faith, O blessed one, thou hast shown forth the Wisdom of God by bearing thy cross, the weapon of salvation, the invincible victory, the hope of all Christians and ever the glory of thy land.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: Having fallen from heavenly citizenship, O all-pure one, I have become like unto a wild beast and am wholly condemned, O thou who gavest birth to the Judge, save me from all condemnation.

Sessional hymn of the saint, Tone VIII.

Having yearned for the kingdom of heaven and beheld its beauty in creation, thou wast taught the mysteries of the Lord of all. The Cross shone forth in thy midst, signifying that thou shouldst conquer therein. Therefore, the eyes of thy soul opened, O wise Alfred, beseech Christ our God that He may grant remission of sins to those who with love celebrate thy holy memory. Twice

Glory…Now and ever…. Hymn to the Birthgiver of God.

Having conceived the Wisdom and Word in thy womb not being consumed, thou, O Mother of God, gavest birth for the world to Him Who sustains the world, and didst bear in thine arms Him Who upholds all things, the Creator of all. Therefore, O most holy Virgin, I beseech thee and glorify thee with faith, that I may be delivered from transgressions and on the day of judgement, when I stand before the face of my Maker, grant me thine aid, O pure Virgin and Sovereign Lady.

Ode IV

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

Christ the Lord granted thee holy baptism and instructed thee from childhood through thy noble and godly parents, teaching thee, O wise Alfred, to worship Him as the only King, so preparing thee for kingship both on earth and in heaven.

Christ the Sun of Righteousness enlightened thee, O righteous Alfred, with His most bright grace, revealing thee, together with thy companion the holy King Edmund, as a valiant warrior and beacon of light to the benighted heathen.

Thou, O blessed one, wast God-loving in nature and right wondrous in thy divine works, therefore this little island has brought forth a great man, a new David who overcame a new Goliath, and thee do we glorify with faith.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: O Ever-Virgin who gavest birth to the Sun of righteousness, enlighten my soul which has been darkened by sin.

Ode V

Irmos: Waking at dawn, we cry unto Thee: Save us, O Lord! For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee.

Having risen at dawn to the never-waning Sun and Master, O learned Alfred, thou wast filled with light, keeping fast and feast, preaching the faith and restoring the Church, and so wisdom has taken the place of the sword.

Arrayed in love and justice as a robe of royal purple, thou becamest a law-giver like unto Moses, teaching the commandments of Christ and establishing His word as law in the King’s English, and now thou hast gone to dwell in the kingdom on high.

O Alfred, unshakeable pillar of the English Church and people, thou hast joined the choirs of the saints, having trampled down Odin and all his demons underfoot, pleasing the White Christ by thy virtuous works and words.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: Cleanse my soul, which has been defiled by fleshly pleasures through the treachery of the serpent, O Virgin.

Ode VI

Irmos: I pour forth my prayer unto the Lord and to Him I declare my sorrow; for my soul is full of evil and my life has drawn nigh unto hell, and like Jonah I pray to Thee: Lead me up from corruption, O God!

Thou didst gather the faithful remnants of the Church together, O righteous Alfred, and through them didst calm the storm-tossed hearts of all and return them to the fold together with the newly baptised, glorifying the Word and Wisdom of God; so gather us together in these latter times anew.

Having believed in the White Christ Who grants life to all, thou, O wise Alfred, didst make the heathen to spurn the worship of Odin and receive the kingdom of heaven with joy; so help us in these latter times to trample down the old demons anew.

Guided by Thy hand, O Word, through Thee the King brought the heathen to cast aside the deepest darkness of ignorance and the tempest of cruel godlessness, and come unto the calm havens of piety with joy; so in these latter times bring us to the calm havens of piety with joy anew.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: O holy Maiden, heal my heart, which has fallen sick, grievously wounded by the sting of the evil one, and by thine entreaties vouchsafe healing to me and save me who trust in thee, O all-pure one.

Kontakion of the saint, Tone II.

Today the wise Alfred glorifies the White Christ among his faithful people and so builds a House of Wisdom. Therein he puts to shame all the heathen, showing the Cross to be the greatest weapon of kings against all enemies. Pray for us, O righteous one, and build a House of Wisdom among us today that there we may glorify the White Christ anew. For this great battle standard has appeared for our sakes and for our salvation.

Ikos: Today let us honour the great Alfred, for, hearing the words of David, he recognised the three parts of the Cross in the cedar, the pine and the cypress, in which the suffering of the Saviour was accomplished. And, victorious, he set it before all the heathen, that they might bend their necks before the Son of God, accepting illumination from the Church of God. For this great battle standard has appeared for our sakes and for our salvation.


Irmos: The Hebrew children in the furnace boldly trod the flame underfoot and transformed the fire into dew, crying out: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

Keeping Thy precepts, the peace-loving Alfred submitted to Thy law and has given this law to all. In this wise he has vanquished the heathen hordes, knowing that the only true conquest is the conquest of the heart, crying out to Thee: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God!

Thy Cross, which has drawn all from the pit of destruction, O right-believing Alfred, has been revealed as the vanquisher of the demons forever and the salvation and glory and greatness of our land.

By Godly works thou hast made thy heart into a temple of God, O greatly loved Alfred, and didst likewise build sacred churches for Him, making one thy land and becoming the first of the Kings of the English.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: Committing sins by my will and enslaved by shameful habits, now do I flee to thy habitual loving-kindness, O all-holy Sovereign Lady, save me who am in despair!


Irmos: In his folly the Chaldean tyrant heated the furnace sevenfold for the pious youths; but, beholding them saved by a higher Power, he cried out to the Creator and Deliverer: You children, bless; you priests, hymn; you people, exalt Him above all for all ages!

Adorned in a raiment of loving-kindness and goodly meekness, thou, O wise Alfred, wast crowned with a mind great in the virtues; and having been translated from earth to the kingdom on high, thou criest: You priests, bless; you people, exalt Christ above all forever!

Beholding thee in joy in the kingdom of God, O righteous Alfred, we magnify Christ, Who has revealed thine honoured festival, which, brighter than the rays of the sun enlightens us who sing with faith: You people, exalt Christ above all forever!

Wise is thy desire and godly is thy cast of mind, O wise Alfred, thou boast of kings. For having restored thy people to the true faith, thou didst adorn thy land with fair churches, crying: You people, exalt Christ above all forever!

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: O Birthgiver of God, enlighten the eyes of my soul which have been blinded by my many transgressions; grant peace to my mind and heart, which have been vexed by divers temptations, I pray thee, and save me who cry: You priests, bless; you people, exalt the pure one above all for all ages!

Ode IX

Irmos: Heaven was awe-struck and the ends of the earth were amazed, that God appeared in the flesh and thy womb became more spacious than the heavens. Therefore, the ranks of men and angels magnify thee as the Birthgiver of God.

Thy memory inspires all who honour thee, O wise Alfred, and from thy capital in Winchester that is saved by God, the House of Alfred became the House of England, as the holy Cuthbert foretold thee, driving away the darkness of divers passions and enlightening those who praise thee with the never-waning light.

Having finished thy life in holiness, now thou dwellest with the saints, full of holiness and wisdom. Therefore, as once before thou didst restore the faith of the White Christ to thy land, O blessed Alfred, revelation to the latter times, pray to Christ our God that the true faith may be restored in this land once more.

O immortal King from everlasting, Thou hast vouchsafed Thy heavenly kingdom to the righteous Alfred, whom of old Thou didst grant to reign piously on earth and who loved Thee in purity together with his holy family. By his supplications have mercy on us all, O Lord.

Hymn to the Birthgiver of God: Having conceived, thou gavest birth to the King and Creator of all, O Virgin. And, lo! as a Queen now dost thou stand at His right hand. Therefore, I beseech thee: at the hour of judgement deliver me from standing on the left side and number me with the sheep on the right side.


In truth thou hast been revealed as a beacon of light who hast enlightened thy land and people with the faith of piety, O divinely crowned Alfred, revelation to the latter times, and with hymns we glorify the White Christ, Who is wondrous in His saints.

Now and ever: Hymn to the Birthgiver of God. 

O Virgin Mother, delight of the angels, comfort of the sorrowing, intercessor for all Christians: Help us and deliver us from everlasting torments by thy mighty entreaties.

At the Praises, 3 stichira, Tone VIII.

Rejoice, O wise Alfred, wellspring of faith, ever watering thy land with streams of sweet wisdom! Rejoice, O root which bore fruit to feed the Church of Christ! Rejoice, O righteous one, thou glory of the English land, greatest among its kings! Rejoice, O revelation to the latter times!

He Who rules over Creation perceived the meekness of thy heart and granted thee wisdom from on high, O blessed Alfred, and, having enlightened thy thoughts with the understanding of piety and wisdom, He has revealed thee as a bright sun of godly works and words in the latter times.

Loathing falsehood and loving the beauty of Christ, thou, O wise King Alfred, didst receive the teachings of the Lord like choice earth and so brought forth the fruit of virtue. Therefore, thou wast granted the heavenly kingdom and with joy we celebrate thy holy memory in the latter times.

Glory, Tone VIII.

The King of kings, God Who adorns the worthy with rich gifts, adorned thee also with wisdom, O right-believing Alfred. Thou didst baptise the heathen, restoring the Church of God among the people of thine earthly kingdom, thus winning the heavenly kingdom. Therefore, beseech Him Who alone loves mankind, on behalf of Orthodox kings, Christ-loving armies and all who celebrate thy memory with faith, that we may be delivered from sin in the latter times.

Now and ever…. Hymn to the Birthgiver of God or this hymn to the Cross and to the Birthgiver of God, in the same tone.

Standing with the virgin disciple by the Tree at the crucifixion, the Virgin cried aloud, weeping: ‘Woe is me! How is it that Thou sufferest the passion, O Christ, Who art the dispassion of all?’


Prokimenon, Tone III.

O sing to our God, sing; sing to our King, sing!

Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations; shout unto God with a voice of rejoicing.

Epistle to Timothy, §282

Timothy my child: I exhort that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all who are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not); a teacher of the gentiles in faith and truth.

Alleluia, Tone VI.

Verse: I have raised up one chosen out of My people.

Verse: For My hand shall be unto Him an ally.

Gospel according to Mark, §54

At that time, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews sent unto Jesus certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. And when they were come, they said unto Him: ‘Master, we know that Thou art true, and carest for no man: for Thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?’ But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them: ‘Why tempt ye Me? Bring Me a penny, that I may see it.’ And they brought it. And He said to them: ‘Whose is this image and superscription?’ And they said to Him: ‘Cæsar’s.’ And Jesus answering said to them: ‘Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marvelled at Him.

Communion verse.

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

The Menaion of the Saints of the Isles: The Services to the Major Saints of the British Isles and Ireland

The struggle to compose and then have accepted and celebrated services to the ancient Orthodox Saints of the ex-Roman Catholic and ex-Protestant countries of Europe has been a very long one. Much opposition had to and sometimes still has to be overcome and all had to be done in conditions of deprivation and opposition. Nearly all the services to the major saints of Western Europe were composed between 1980 and 2015, though a few date back before this, in part through the blessed inspiration of St John of Shanghai and Western Europe (+ 1966).

Of the 64 services we propose to edit, 53 were composed by my late friend, the brilliant and prolific translator of the Church’s liturgical treasury, Monk Joseph (Isaac/Edward) Lambertsen. He composed most of the services to local Western saints on my commission, as I knew that his health was already failing, and that he was very busy, engaged with the composition of many other services to saints of all lands and ages, as well as with translations. Isaac worked quickly and always humbly, sending me his services for checking, suggestions and then electronic publishing.

Six of these services (All the Saints of the Isles, All the Saints of the Western Lands, St Alfred, St Audrey, St Edmund and St Felix), were composed by myself to long-beloved local saints between 1998 and 2015, though in part they go back before that, three services (St Patrick, St Brigid and St Edward) were composed by the late Valeria Hoecke and translated by Monk Joseph, one (to St Botolph) by the monks of the Transfiguration Monastery in Boston in 1992 and one (to St Rumwold) by Rumwold Leigh from London.

For many years available in an unedited form on the orthodoxengland website, it has long been time to edit and present these services in a homogenous form for use in the British Isles and Ireland. Time has been in short supply and it will be a labour of love over the next few years to bring all the services to the same standard, that set by the brilliant translations of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), master of Byzantine Greek and liturgical English. This means eliminating the language of the neophyte, that curious mixture of artificially archaic English and its Latinate Victorian vocabulary and grammar and untranslated foreign literalisms, and so inculturating the services for the 21st century. Our services are intended for use in the local liturgical English in use in the British Isles, without an alien phraseology and sectarian idiom.

Thus they will be put into the standard liturgical English, as used in our parishes in these islands. Apart from this change, there are occasional historical inaccuracies and typos and above all the many changes made to formating, spelling and punctuation. Of the 62 individual saints whose services we project to edit, 50 are connected with England (though 8 are not English), 5 with Ireland, 4 with Wales and 3 with Scotland. To some extent this reflects the interest in native Orthodoxy shown by people in each of these countries, with much greater interest being shown in England.

We dedicate this Menaion to the eternal memory of our pioneer, Monk Joseph (Lambertsen) (1949-2017). Eternal Memory!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,

St John’s Orthodox Church,



St Edmund’s Tide

20 November/3 December 2020

1151st Anniversary of St Edmund’s Martyrdom


 All dates are given first according to the Church calendar, and then according to the civil calendar. Services in bold have already been edited.

Volume I – September to March

  1. 16 / 29 September – St Ninian
  2. 16 / 29 September – St Edith of Wilton
  3. 19 September / 2 October – St Theodore of Tarsus
  4. 7 / 20 October – St Osyth of Chich
  5. 10 / 23 October – St Paulinus of York
  6. 12 / 25 October – St Edwin the Martyr
  7. 12 / 25 October – St Wilfrid of York
  8. 19 October / 2 November – St Frideswide of Oxford
  9. 25 October / 7 November – St John of Beverley
  10. 26 October / 9 November – St Alfred the Great
  11. 26 October / 9 November – St Cedd of Essex
  12. 3 /16 November – St Rumwold
  13. 3 / 16 November – St Winifred of Wales
  14. 7 / 20 November – St Willibrord (Clement) of Utrecht
  15. 17 / 30 November – St Hilda of Whitby
  16. 20 November / 3 December – St Edmund the Martyr
  17. 3 / 16 December – St Birinus of Wessex
  18. 12 / 25 December – St Finnian of Clonard
  19. 12 / 25 January – St Benedict of Wearmouth
  20. 14 / 27 January – St Kentigern of Glasgow
  21. 15 / 28 January – St Ita of Ireland
  22. 29 January / 11 February – St Gildas the Wise
  23. 1 / 14 February – St Brigid of Ireland
  24. 3 / 16 February – St Werburga
  25. 25 February / 10 March – St Ethelbert of Kent
  26. 28 February / 13 March – St Oswald of Worcester
  27. 1 / 14 March – St David of Wales
  28. 2 / 15 March – St Chad of Lichfield
  29. 8 / 21 March – St Felix, Apostle of East Anglia
  30. 17 / 30 March – St Patrick of Ireland
  31. 18 / 31 March – St Edward the Martyr
  32. 20 March / 2 April – St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

Volume II – April to August

  1. 10 / 23 April – Martyrs of Chertsey
  2. 11 – 24 April – St Guthlac of Crowland
  3. 19 April / 2 May – St Alphege the Martyr
  4. 29 April / 12 May – St Erconwald of London
  5. 3 / 16 May – St Brendan the Voyager
  6. 19 May / 1 June – St Dunstan of Canterbury
  7. 25 May/7 June – St Aldhelm of Sherborne
  8. 27 May / 9 June – St Bede the Venerable
  9. 28 May / 10 June – St Augustine of Canterbury
  10. 30 May / 12 June – St Walstan of Taverham

Falling in June or July

  1. All the Saints of the Isles
  2. All the Saints of the Western Lands
  3. 1 / 14 June – St Wite of Dorset
  4. 3 / 16 June – St Kevin of Glendalough
  5. 5 / 18 June – St Boniface of Crediton
  6. 9 – 22 June – St Columba of Iona
  7. 17 / 30 June – St Botolph of Iken
  8. 17 – 30 June – St Nectan of Hartland
  9. 22 June – 5 July – St Alban of Verulamium
  10. 23 June / 6 July – St Audrey of Ely
  11. 2 / 15 July – St Swithin of Winchester
  12. 8 / 21 July – St Edgar the Peaceful
  13. 13 / 26 July – St Mildred of Thanet
  14. 1 / 14 August – St Ethelwold of Winchester
  15. 2 / 15 August – St Plegmund of Canterbury
  16. 5 /18 August – St Oswald the Martyr
  17. 10 / 23 August – St Bertram of Ilam
  18. `17 / 30 August – St James of York
  19. 23 August/5 September – St Ebba of Coldingham and Companions
  20. 25 August/7 September – St Ebba of Coldingham
  21. 31 August/13 September – St Aidan of Lindisfarne
  22. 31 August/13 September – St Eanswythe of Folkestone