THE 8TH DAY OF THE MONTH OF MARCH
Commemoration of the Holy Hierarch Felix, Apostle of East Anglia
At ‘Lord I have cried…’, three stichira, Tone VI.
Bearer of God Felix, come from Gaul and sent from Canterbury, thou didst sail to the East Anglian land by call of the holy King Sigebert. Clothed in the raiment of the Holy Spirit and enlightened with divine splendour, do thou who hast entered into the Holy of Holies and partaken of the mysteries of grace, now boldly intercede for the salvation of our souls.
Resplendent with all virtue and godly mind, thou didst enlighten and baptise the lost sheep of the East Anglian Kingdom, O blessed Felix, dispelling the infelicity of their heathen ways, thou hast appeared as the light in the East, and through the Holy Spirit thou hast become a son of the Day in the eternal East. Wherefore we call on thee now, do thou enlighten the lost anew, as we celebrate thy holy memory.
Still in thy youth in Burgundy thy pure mind dwelt in God through faith, and while still in a mortal body thou didst seek for immortality. In thy passionlessness thou didst become like unto the angels, O Felix the blessed, wise and felicitous Apostle of the East Angles, bright bedesman for all those who honour thy holy memory.
Glory …. Tone VIII.
O venerable father Felix, the fruit of thy virtues has enlightened all East Anglia, for who would not wonder at thy forbearance and gentle compassion. Thou didst instruct all in the ways of God and the paths of virtue, and now thou art adorned with an unfading crown, wherefore do thou intercede for the salvation of our souls.
Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God or this hymn to the Cross and to the Mother of God, Tone VIII.
We magnify the Virgin who cried out through her tears: O my Child, I cannot bear to behold Thee, Thou who grantest strength to all, dying upon the Cross. O that thou wouldest grant divine and saving strength to those who sleep the sleep of the lost through the Fall of Adam.
If there is a Polyeleion, then the dogmatic hymn to the Mother of God, Tone VIII.
In His love for mankind, the King of heaven appeared on earth and dwelt among men; for He Who received flesh from the pure Virgin and came forth from her having received human nature, is the only Son of God, twofold in nature but not Person. Therefore, proclaiming Him to be truly perfect God and perfect man, we confess Christ our God. Him do thou beseech, O unwedded Mother, that our souls may find mercy!
Reading from Proverbs
The memory of the just is praised, and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who knows prudence. For it is better to traffic for her, than for treasures of gold and silver. And she is more valuable than precious stones: no precious thing is equal to her in value. For length of existence and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are wealth and glory: out of her mouth righteousness proceeds, and she carries law and mercy upon her tongue. Hearken to me, O children, for I will speak solemn truths. Blessed is the man who shall keep my ways; for my outgoings are the outgoings of life, and in them is prepared favour from the Lord. You, O men, do I exhort; and utter my voice to the sons of men. I, wisdom, have built up; upon counsel, knowledge and understanding have I called. Counsel and safety are mine; prudence is mine, and strength is mine. I love those that love me; they that seek me shall find grace. O you simple, understand subtlety, and you that are untaught, imbibe knowledge. Hearken unto me again; for I will speak solemn truths. For my throat shall meditate truth; and false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing in them wrong or perverse. They are all evident to those that understand, and right to those that find knowledge. For I will instruct you in truth, that your hope may be in the Lord, and ye may be filled with the Spirit.
Reading from Proverbs
The mouth of the righteous drops wisdom: but the tongue of the unjust shall perish. The lips of just men drop grace: but the mouth of the ungodly is perverse. False balances are an abomination before the Lord: but a just weight is acceptable to Him. Wherever pride enters, there will also disgrace: but the mouth of the humble meditates wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the overthrow of the rebellious shall spoil them. Possessions shall not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness will deliver from death. When a just man dies, he leaves regret: but the destruction of the ungodly is speedy and causes joy. Righteousness traces out blameless paths: but ungodliness encounters unjust dealing. The righteousness of upright men delivers them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope does not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perishes. A righteous man escapes from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. In the mouth of ungodly men is a snare for citizens: but the understanding of righteous men is prosperous. In the prosperity of righteous men a city prospers, but at the destruction of the wicked there is exultation. At the blessing of the upright a city shall be exalted, but by the mouths of ungodly men it is overthrown. A man void of understanding sneers at his fellow citizens: but a sensible man is quiet.
Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon
When the righteous is praised, the people will rejoice; for his memory is immortality, because it is known with God, and with men; for his soul pleased the Lord. Love wisdom, therefore, O men, and live; desire her, and you shall be instructed. For the beginning of her is love and the observation of the law. Honour wisdom, that you may reign for evermore. I will tell you, and will not hide from you the mysteries of God, for he it is who is the instructor of wisdom, the director of the wise, the master of all understanding and activity. And wisdom teaches all understanding; for in her is a spirit understanding and holy, the brightness of the everlasting light, and the image of the goodness of God. She makes friends of God, and prophets; she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the constellations of the stars; compared with the light, she is found pre-eminent. She hath delivered from pain them that please her, and guided them in right paths, given them knowledge of holy things, defended them from their enemies, and given them a mighty struggle, that they might all know that godliness is stronger than all; vice shall never prevail against wisdom, neither shall judgment pass away without convicting the evil. For they said to themselves, reasoning unrighteously: Let us oppress the righteous man, let us not spare his holiness, neither need we be ashamed of the ancient grey hairs of the aged, for our strength shall be a law unto us; let us lie in wait for the righteous, for he is displeasing to us, opposes our doings, upbraids us with our offending the law, and denounces to our infamy the transgressions of our training. He professes to have the knowledge of God, and calls himself the child of the Lord. He is become are proof to our thoughts, and is grievous even for us to behold; for his life is not like other men’s, his ways are of another fashion. We are accounted by him as a mockery, and he avoids our ways as filth, and pronounces the end of the just to be blessed. Let us see if his words be true; let us test what things happen to him. Let us examine him with mockery and torture, that we may know his meekness and prove his forbearance. Let us condemn him with a shameful death, for by his own words shall he be visited. Such things did they imagine, and were deceived; for their own wickedness blinded them. As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not; neither be thought they that Thou alone art God, who hast the power of life and death, savest in time of tribulation, and deliverest from all evil; who art compassionate and merciful, givest grace to Thy saints and opposest the prideful with Thine own arm.
At the aposticha, these stichira, Tone VIII.
O holy hierarch Felix, spiritual brightness of the East, morning light of the Church of East Anglia, bringer of felicity to those in infelicity, adornment of hierarchs and model of monastic life, do thou defend and deliver our souls from the enemy.
Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
O hierarch Felix, by the power of the Cross and the splendour of the Gospel of Christ, thou dost drive away the demon hordes from the East Anglian land, now do thou also drive away the assaults of the enemy from those who earnestly seek thee in prayer.
Verse: What shall I give in return to the Lord for all that He has given me?
We cannot worthily praise the apostolic labours of the hierarch Felix, who, enlightened by God, enlightens us with understanding, as the confessor of divine mysteries, to whom we now sing: Rejoice, O father of fathers.
Glory, Tone VIII.
O blessed hierarch Felix, thou who wast a good shepherd and fervent teacher of the East Anglians, to thee we cry out in praise: the Lord has adorned His church with thee: therefore do thou pray without ceasing for those who venerate thee, for the forgiveness and salvation of our souls.
Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone or this hymn to the Cross and to the Mother of God, Tone VIII.
O Jesus, when Thy Virgin Mother beheld Thee nailed to the Cross, willingly accepting Thy passion she cried: alas, my dear Child, Thou the physician dost endure wounds, Thou who hast healed all man’s infirmity and saved all from corruption through Thy compassion.
Troparion, Tone IV.
The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, model of meekness and teacher of temperance. Therefore, thou hast reached heights by humility and riches by poverty. O holy father Felix, Apostle of East Anglia, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
At ‘God is the Lord’, the troparion of the saint twice, Tone IV.
Glory…. Now & Ever…. Hhymn to the Mother of God or hymn to the Cross and to the Mother of God.
O Pure Unwedded Virgin Mother of God, only intercessor and protector of the faithful: Deliver those who trust in thee from sorrow, calamity and assault and save our souls through thy holy intercessions.
After the first reading from the Psalter, sessional hymn, Tone I.
As the servant of Christ, the Master of all, thou didst teach the folk of East Anglia, enlightening and baptising, instructing them in the mysteries of grace, O holy hierarch Felix. Therefore we acclaim thee as a preacher of truth and favoured hierarch of Christ.
Glory….Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God in the same tone.
O pure unwedded Virgin Mother of God, only intercessor and protector of the faithful: deliver those who trust in thee from sorrow, calamity and assault and save our souls through thy holy intercessions.
After the second reading from the Psalter, sessional hymn, Tone IV.
Since thy youth in Burgundy, thou didst take up thy cross and follow Christ in the monastic way, subduing the flesh by abstinence. Therefore thou wast sent to the East Anglians by the divine Honorius in Canterbury, and dost magnify the Lord and His Virgin Mother, O Blessed Felix.
Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God.
O Most Holy Virgin who gave birth to the Eternal God, with the holy Bishop Felix do thou beseech Him to grant us remission of sins and amendment of life before the end, for thee do we hymn, O all-praised Virgin.
We magnify thee, O holy hierarch father Felix, and we venerate thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us to Christ our God.
Verse: Hear this, all you nations, give ear, all you who dwell on the earth.
Sessional hymn, Tone VIII.
Thou didst subdue thy flesh and gloriously tend thy flock, enlightening all the East Anglian Kingdom with baptism and teaching its people to glorify One God in Three Persons. Therefore even after thine earthly life thou dost bestow healings on all those who come to the Church of God and honour thee, O holy Felix. Beseech thou Christ our God to grant remission of sins to those who keep thy festival with love.
Glory…. Now and ever…. Hymn to the Mother of God:
Let us praise the Gate of Heaven, the Ark, the most holy mountain, the bright cloud, the unburned bush, the spiritual paradise, the deliverance of Eve, the great treasure-house of the universe; for in her was wrought the salvation of the world and the remission of the sins of old. Therefore we cry to her: pray to Christ our God to grant remission of sins to those who venerate thy most holy birthgiving.
Gradual, first antiphon of Tone IV, From my youth…
Prokimenon, Tone IV.
My mouth shall speak wisdom and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
Verse: The mouth of the righteous shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak of judgement.
Gospel according to John (10: 1-9)
The Lord said to the Jews who came to Him: Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable said Jesus to them: but they understood not what things they were which he said to them. Then said Jesus to them again, truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enters, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
After Psalm 50, Glory …. Tone VI.
O heir of God, companion of Christ, servant of the Lord, blessed Felix, thy life accorded with thy name, for thou didst deliver the Kingdom of East Anglia from the infelicity of heathendom to the felicity of Christendom, holding aloft the Gospel of Christ and shining forth wisdom, thy life was glorious and thy repose is with the saints, therefore do thou intercede with Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
Canon, Tone VI.
Irmos: When Israel walked on the waters as on dry land, seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, they cried aloud: let us sing to God a song of victory.
Refrain: Holy Hierarch Father Felix, pray to God for us.
Thou dost stand as a servant of God amidst the choirs of heaven as they keep festival this day. Therefore, through thine intercessions, do thou beseech the Lord to bless thy land as its Apostle and all who sing thy praises.
God chose thee to preach the holy Red Book, the Gospel of Christ, in the Eastern Kingdom, O blessed father Felix. Wherefore as thou hast wisely instructed the people, do thou also instruct us who honour thy holy memory.
As thou wast enlightened by the wisdom of God, O blessed hierarch Felix, and thy heart ever flowed with the words of life, so do thou also enlighten us with words of the living wisdom and warm our souls that are frozen in sin
Hymn to the Mother of God: From afar the holy choir of prophets foresaw that thou, O pure one, would become the Mother of God, exalted above the cherubim and all creation.
Irmos: There is none holy as Thou, O Lord my God, who hast exalted the power of Thy faithful, O Good one, and strengthened us on the rock of thy confession.
With words of divine sweetness on thy lips, O blessed father, thou dried up the bitter drops of heathendom in the Eastern Kingdom where God granted thee to preach, and as there thou poured forth the holy drink, do thou now make the spiritual wilderness to blossom forth anew.
Forechosen by God to serve Him across the sea in the Isles, in the Eastern kingdom thou didst offer the bloodless sacrifice to him who offered himself for our sakes, O blessed father, our apostle and intercessor before the Throne of God.
As the paradise of God, thy tomb of old shed forth the fragrance of grace upon the faithful, O glorious hierarch Felix: wherefore do thou now shed forth the fragrance of thy prayers on the East Anglian land and all who now honour thy holy memory.
Hymn to the Mother of God: O pure one, who can fathom the ineffable depths of thy birthgiving; for God humbled Himself in compassion and renewed me in thy womb.
Sessional hymn, Tone IV: Thou hast preserved the Orthodox Faith, tended Christ’s Church and torn up the tares of the heathen, O holy Felix, and as now thou dwellest in heaven, do thou pray for the salvation of our souls.
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.
Irmos: Christ is my strength, my God and my Lord, holy Church sings in godliness and cries aloud in purity, keeping festival in the Lord.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, O father Felix, thou hast driven back the spirits of evil and overturned the ancient idols, instructing thy God-given flock in the wisdom and light and Gospel of Christ, leading the East Anglian Kingdom to the Kingdom of God.
Thou hast preached the Uncreated Unity and Indivisible Trinity, neither to be separated nor co-mingled: as thou hast enlightened the whole Eastern Kingdom with the Word of God, do thou now enlighten us who sing unto thee.
With prayerful toil and fasting thou didst subdue the flesh, teaching thy disciples by thine example to do likewise, bringing the whole Eastern Kingdom to pray to Christ, and now thou dost stand in the Kingdom of Heaven and intercede before the Trinity.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Thou hast annulled the ancestral curse, O Holy Mother of God, for thou hast borne for us the source of holiness who is life eternal.
Irmos: I beseech thee, O good one, do thou enlighten with thy divine light the souls of those who rise early to pray to thee, that they may know thee as the True God who calls us back from the darkness of sin.
Called by the holy King Sigebert and sent by the divine Honorius, thou wast blameless in thy ministry, granting the grace of baptism to the noble Audrey, leading many to the monastic life, and in purity of soul thou didst serve the holy mysteries, O blessed father.
Building churches throughout East Anglia and raising up a school, through thy holy instruction those who were idolators came to serve the Living God. In calling them back from their faithless ways, thou didst shine forth as the faithful servant of Christ.
Through thine inspired teachings thou didst enlighten the heathen idolators, O holy father Felix, through the power of the spirit thou didst make barren hearts fruitful and become the apostle of thy people, wherefore folk north and south, from fen and coast, from Ely and Soham, from Edmund’s holy burgh and thine own Stowe, we cry aloud to thee: save us who sing unto thee.
Hymn to the Mother of God: O most pure Mary, the Bride of God, thou didst remain a Virgin both before and after thy divine birthgiving, for thou didst bear the God who does all things as he wills.
Irmos: Beholding the sea of life with the flood of temptation, I run to Thy still haven and cry to Thee: raise up my life from corruption, Thou who art most merciful.
Thy lips spoke with the Spirit of God and thou hast written words of grace in the hearts of thy disciples and all the faithful who then went forth to do likewise, calling all to repentance before the end.
Learning divine truth and entering into the holy of holies, thou hast led the faithful to God by the Light of the Trinity and the Love of Christ, wherefore together with Sigebert and Fursey and Audrey and all her holy family, the whole East Anglian land praises thy holy memory.
O holy hierarch Felix, as the strong flow of thine instructions barred the tides of wickedness on East Anglian shore and stream, and as a sweet dew thy words have watered the flock of the faithful, do thou now pray to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
Hymn to the Mother of God: O Most Holy Mother of God, the Word came to dwell in thy Virgin’s womb and God appeared there as man, while in ways beyond telling he has restored the human race.
Kondakion, Tone II.
Leaving the land of Gaul, O holy Father Felix, thou didst hearken to the call of God, and thou hast come and enlightened as a faithful apostle the Kingdom of East Anglia, as through thy toil and prayer and fasting thou hast found favour on high, so do thou now intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved
Ikos: Through sin I have fallen away and I sleep unto death but, O good shepherd, do thou raise me up and still the passions that wickedly torment me, that I may rise and hymn thy bright festival, for as the Master of all Creation has glorified thee, O faithful servant Felix, do thou now intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
Irmos: An angel made the furnace to bedew the holy children. But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God of our Fathers.
The Holy Spirit gave thee insight into the divine commandments. As a star in the East thou didst enlighten those who sang: Blessed art thou, O God of our Fathers.
O holy hierarch Felix, who shines with virtues, the Uncreated Trinity took up His abode in thee and therefore thou didst sing: Blessed art Thou, O God of our Fathers.
Thou didst drive away sleep from thine eyes and receive the divine light from the angel of light. He made thee into a pillar of the faithful and true apostle of thy flock.
Hymn to the Mother of God: O Most Pure Maiden, the Uncircumscribed who dwells eternally in the bosom of the Father, now comes to dwell in thy womb Circumscribed and bearing thine image, for He came to save creation.
Irmos: Thou didst make the flames to sprinkle dew, Thou didst burn the sacrifice of the righteous man with water, for Thou alone, O Christ, doest all as Thou willest and Thee do we exalt throughout all the ages.
Thou, O blessed one, hast humbled the proud serpent of the heathen by thy humility and art raised Godwards in thy purity. Thee do we honour as we exalt Christ throughout all the ages.
Thou didst preach the Incarnate Word to the Eastern Kingdom that once dwelt in darkness, thou didst save it from the infelicity of false worship and idolatry, bringing it to the felicity of Christ, O wise Felix.
Thou didst pattern thy life after the Master’s and likewise order thy speech and instruction. Thou didst fulfil thine earthly course and enter the realm of the blessed.
Let us bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever….
Hymn to the Mother of God: Thy birthgiving has set us free from the ancient curse, most blessed and grace-filled Maiden. Thee do we greet with the words of Gabriel: Rejoice, O cause of the salvation of mankind.
Irmos: It is not possible for men to behold God, upon whom the angelic orders dare not gaze. But through thee, O pure one, the Incarnate Word appeared unto men, and together with the heavenly hosts we magnify Him and call thee blessed.
Having been meek and blessed on earth, now thou dwellest in the land of the blessed. Standing among the heavenly hosts thou art enlightened by the splendour of thy virtues and adorned in glory.
Thou, Apostle of East Anglia, dost behold the brightness of God and angels and the splendour of patriarchs and martyrs: together with them do thou beseech Him Who loves mankind to grant remission of sins and repentance to those who praise thee.
Thy brightness has shone forth to all. Thou dost dwell like an angel in thy land, for thou hast adorned it and hallowed it with thine unction and made thy people wise in God.
Hymn to the Mother of God: The rain of heaven came down as dew into thy womb, O Virgin, and dried up all the streams of deceit. It showered incorruption on all mankind and through thee we are granted redemption.
Exapostilarion: Thy light-bearing festival makes glad this day, O holy hierarch Felix. As thou dost stand in the light of the countenance of God, do thou remember us who praise thee.
Glory…. Now and ever.…
In thee with God we trust, O Most Pure Virgin. For thou didst suffer with thy Son when he was crucified. Beseech thou him to preserve us unharmed and save our souls.
At the Praises, three stichira, Tone VIII.
O holy father Felix, thou hast attained unto the heights of the ladder of understanding and drawn nigh to God, wherefore thou dost heal all manner of infirmity and expel evil spirits. As with joy and gladness we celebrate thy festival and magnify the Lord who has exalted His favoured one, do thou now call us back to the Faith of Christ.
O wondrous father Felix, with mind enlightened thou didst still the surging sea of the passions, with pure wings of grace thou didst attain to the heights of apostolic goodness, save us who are submerged beneath the sea of sin, and do thou now call us back to the Faith of Christ.
O holy father, thou wast a rule of priesthood and model of love, stronghold of monastic life and strengthening of the church, light of love and throne of compassion, source of miracles and tongue of fire, vessel of the Holy Spirit and spiritual paradise, O Blessed Felix, do thou now call us back to the Faith of Christ.
Glory…. Tone VI.
O holy father Felix, good shepherd and disciple of Christ who gave thy life to thy flock and preached from the holy Red Gospel, O thou who art worthy of all praise, beseech the Lord to grant us great mercy and do thou now call us back to the Faith of Christ.
Now and ever….
Hymn to the Mother of God: We have learned to know the God who became Incarnate of thee, O Virgin Mother of God, beseech thou him to save our souls.
At the Beatitudes, 8 troparia from Odes III and IV of the canon of the hierarch.
Prokimenon, Tone I: My mouth shall speak Wisdom and the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
Verse: Hear this, all you nations! Give ear, all you that dwell on the earth.
Epistle to the Hebrews (7: 26-8:2)
Brethren: For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [makes] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Alleluia, Tone I:
The mouth of the righteous shall proclaim Wisdom and his tongue shall speak of judgement.
Verse: The law of God is in his heart, and his steps shall not falter.
Gospel according to John (10: 9-16)
Jesus said to His disciples: I am the door: by me if any man enters in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catches them, and scatters the sheep. The hireling flees, because he is a hireling, and cares not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not fear evil tidings.