THE 31ST DAY OF THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Commemoration of Our Father among the Saints Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Enlightener of Northumbria
At Lord, I have cried, 6 stichira: 3 for the Deposition of the Sash of the Mother of God and 3 for the holy hierarch, Tone VI, Spec. Mel.: ‘On the third day…’
Arise, you Christian peoples, and let us praise the wondrous Aidan, a hierarch blessed by God, a tireless husbandman of the vineyard of the Holy Church; and with cries of jubilation let us proclaim before all nations that he is our fervent intercessor before the throne of the Lord of lords.
O Lindisfarne, thou Holy Isle, washed everlastingly by the waves of the sea, as thou didst behold the spiritual struggles and feats of the holy hierarch Aidan, thy very stones bear witness to the glory he has won with Christ. Wherefore, as thou art exalted above the tides, raise us up to praise him.
Kings and nobles honoured thee, but thou gavest their gifts to the poor in Christ, thereby showing thyself to be a model of Christian virtue and love; wherefore, thou hast been crowned in the heavens by the right hand of the Almighty, O glorious Aidan.
Glory, Tone II.
The islands of the sea leap for joy at thy memory, O Aidan, for on the Isle of Scattery, in the Ireland of thy birth, thou didst first undertake the monastic life with the venerable Senan, on the blessed Island of Iona in the land of the Picts thou didst attain spiritual maturity under Segenius, and found thine own monastery on the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne on the coasts of Northumbria. Wherefore, in thee were the words of Isaiah the Prophet fulfilled, for thy sake was the glory of the Lord revealed in the isles of the sea, and the name of the Lord made glorious therein.
Now & ever, for the Deposition.
Aposticha of the Deposition and Glory, Tone VIII.
With the right-believing Kings Oswald and Oswin thou didst plant the Faith of Christ among the English, as a true apostle and disciple of the Saviour, O holy Aidan; and caring for orphans and children as an attentive father, thou didst instil in them true piety and the knowledge of God; and with coins entrusted to thee in Christian love thou didst purchase the freedom of many who languished in bitter thralldom and captivity. O holy hierarch, look down from heaven upon us, thy sinful children: by thine example teach us the virtues and lead us to the vision of God, and by thy supplications ransom us, the wretched, from slavery to death and the devil.
Now & ever, of the Deposition.
Troparion of the holy hierarch, Tone I.
A son of Ireland, transplanted to Iona, the isle of saints, tended there, thou didst grow to spiritual fruition; and when the field of Northumbria was ready to receive the seeds of the Christian Faith, thou wast sent there to plant the crop of salvation. Wherefore, labouring diligently day and night, thou didst produce a rich harvest for Christ. O godly Aidan our father, beseech Him earnestly that our souls may find mercy.
Glory… Now & ever… Troparion of the Deposition.
At ‘God is the Lord’, the troparion of the Deposition, twice; Glory…. that of the holy hierarch, Now & ever…. that of the Deposition, once.
After the readings from the Psalter, the sessional hymns of the Deposition.
Canon I of the Deposition, with 6 troparia, including the irmos, which is sung twice; Canon II of the Deposition, with 4 troparia; and this canon of the holy hierarch, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is “Eire, Scotland and England praise Aidan”, Tone I.
Irmos: Let us sing a new hymn to the Lord Who made the impassable Red Sea dry land. He caused the children of Israel to cross it, and covered the adverse foe with the sea.
Eireann’s child Aidan, growing in wisdom and stature in the land of the Picts, became a true apostle and father to the English, so that multitudes came to sojourn on earth as they were angels and dwell now in the heavens.
Iona, the sacred isle of the venerable Columba, nurtured thee, O Aidan, with the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the fathers, so that thou didst excel in the monastic struggles, in prudence and all the virtues.
Rejecting the acquisition of worldly power and material possessions, like the disciples of Christ thou didst go humbly among thy flock, O wondrous hierarch, preferring to walk upon thy beautiful apostolic feet, rather than to ride.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Ever-virgin art thou, O all-holy and blessed Sovereign Lady, Queen of all creation, for the Son and Word from before eternity has preserved thy purity undefiled, from thy birth to this day, and time without end.
Katavasia: The irmoi of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Irmos: O Lord, establish the Church which Thou hast acquired by the power of Thy Cross, whereby Thou didst vanquish the enemy and hast enlightened the whole world.
Senan, thy tutor in faith and piety, sent thee to Segenius to train as a champion in the contest against all manner of temptations; and, strengthened by the supplications of both preceptors, O Aidan, thou didst vanquish the hordes of Satan.
Called to the episcopate because of thine exceeding great discretion, thou didst tend the sheep and lambs of thy flock for Christ, the Chief Shepherd, Who has crowned thee gloriously with an unfading wreath.
O the grace which filled thee, body and soul, O wondrous Aidan! For, sensing the power of the Almighty working in thee, the waves of the sea stilled their raging when the oil thou didst provide was poured forth thereon.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Tenderly didst thou feed thine own Creator at thy breast, O Virgin Mother; wherefore, He Whom thou didst cradle in thine all-pure arms took thy pristine soul into His own hands when it departed from thine immaculate body.
Kontakion of the holy hierarch, Tone V.
With great pastoral prudence, O holy hierarch Aidan, thou didst feed the lambs of thy new flock with the milk of piety; and when they were filled with such wholesome spiritual sustenance, thou gavest them the solid food of Orthodox teaching, thereby confirming their souls in godly reverence and true devotion.
Ikos: Arise and praise Aidan, O Northumbria! O Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, rejoice and be glad! Ye kings and princes, lords and commons, lift up your voices in jubilation! For the blessed hierarch ever imparts to your land the mercy and favour of the Most High, shedding the rays thereof on your cities, villages and towns. Wherefore, let the streams of the Humber carry his fame to all the world, and let the cities of York, Durham and Bamburgh declare his glory to all Christendom, that every nation may glorify God, Who is wondrous in His saints, that He may confirm our souls in godly reverence and true devotion.
Sessional hymn of the Deposition; then, Glory…. that of the holy hierarch, Tone VIII, Spec. Mel.: ‘Of the Wisdom…’
Well didst thou heed the words of David the Psalmist, O Aidan, for thou didst take care not to be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose jaws must be held with bit and bridle; wherefore, when a costly steed was bestowed upon thee by the pious king, thou didst straightway give it away to a poor man, reproving the sovereign when he protested at thy liberality, for the poor in Christ, who are always with us, are higher in value than all the horses of this world.
Now & ever…. Sessional hymn of the Deposition, again.
Irmos: Thy grace has shone forth upon the nations, and the ends of the earth have beheld Thy glory, for by Thy Cross Thou hast saved the whole world.
Let all the ends of the earth rejoice today in the memory of the holy hierarch Aidan, who cast down the idols of the heathen and shone forth the grace of God in the Kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia.
All Orthodox nations exult greatly today, praising the apostolic struggles and journeys of the wondrous Aidan, by whose tireless efforts the Faith of Christ was established.
Now let us all emulate the blessed Aidan, the model for monastics and paragon of Christian virtues, that having like him pleased our heavenly Master, we may enter into His gracious joy.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Despairing of our salvation because of our manifold transgressions, in fear we flee to thee, O most immaculate one; and, clasping thy precious feet, we beseech thy mighty intercession.
Irmos: Once, the seraph, taking up tongs, took up a burning ember and touched it to Isaiah’s lips; and, purified, he proclaimed unto all: Learn ye righteousness!
Alms didst thou constantly receive from the mighty of the world, O Aidan; and these didst thou straightaway give away among the poor and needy. Wherefore, great is thy treasure in the heavens.
Neither silver nor gold didst thou keep for thyself, O friend of the Most High, but didst hold the poor in spirit to be thy true treasure; and therein thy heart didst delight, O God-bearer.
Despondency and all the fleshly passions didst thou dispel from thy soul by the rigours of abstinence and ascetic struggles, O venerable one. Wherefore, thou becamest a true model for monks.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Even the most eloquent of orators is utterly at a loss how to describe the mighty works which thine all-powerful Son has wrought through thee, O most pure Maiden.
Irmos: Emulating the Prophet Jonah, I cry out: O Good One, free my life from corruption! O Saviour of the world, save me who cry out: Glory to Thee!
Nailing the uprisings of thy flesh to the fear of God, thou didst earnestly take up thy cross and follow after Christ Jesus thy Lord, by Whose sufferings we have been redeemed.
Glory and majesty shine forth on this day of thy memorial, O blessed one; for having shed the old man like a garment, thou didst put on Christ, Who shines with uncreated light.
Lowly and humble, O Aidan, thou didst yet consort with kings, princes and highborn nobles, teaching them to repent, in that the mighty will be cast down and those of low degree will be exalted.
Hymn to the Mother of God: All-blessed art thou, O Lady Birthgiver of God, for within thy pure womb the Author of all deigned to dwell, so that it surpasses all the heavenly heights in glory.
Kontakion & ikos of the Deposition.
Irmos: O Lord God of our fathers, Who didst appear to the law-giver in the fiery bush and therein prefigure Thy nativity from the Virgin: Blessed art Thou!
Still now do the tides sunder thy Holy Isle from the coastal lands, O Aidan our helmsman; yet during thy life naught could part thee from the love of thy Lord.
Devoutly the pious Oswald granted thee the islands of the sea, O boast of monks: wherefore, on Lindisfarne thou didst found a mighty monastery; while Farne witnessed thy solitary struggles in prayer.
Prudence, the highest of pastoral virtues, reigned supreme in thy life, so that multitudes of the heathen, perceiving the light of Christ shining forth from thee, glorified God, crying: Blessed art Thou!
Hymn to the Mother of God: Robed in gold inwrought with many colours, the all-immaculate Queen and Mother stands in majesty at the throne of the Most High, mercifully interceding for her sinful servants.
Irmos: Hymn the Lord, Who preserved the children in the burning fiery furnace and descended to them in the form of an angel, and exalt Him supremely forever!
At thy preaching, O godly hierarch Aidan, the hearts of men were opened to the teachings of Christ Jesus; for as thou didst teach, so didst thou live, conforming thyself to the divine precepts.
In time of strife, when pagan hordes strove to burn the royal city to the ground, O Aidan, thou didst set their malice at nought, and by the power of God didst turn back against them the very flames which they kindled.
Singing the praises of God, like the youths in the furnace, while fires threatened to consume Bamburgh, by thine entreaty thou didst preserve the Christian city unharmed by the flames, turning them back upon the evildoers.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Exalting thee among all women, Christ made His abode within thee, O pure Birthgiver of God, miraculously issuing forth from thee at His birth without breaking the seal of thy virginity.
Irmos: With hymns do we magnify Thee, the God and man, Who wast first begotten without mother, and then wast born without father.
As a good shepherd, and not a hireling, O Aidan, thou didst call upon the infidels to cast away their unbelief and to enter, rejoicing, into the fold of the Church, embracing the one true Faith.
Instructing believers in word and deed, O holy hierarch, thou didst strengthen them in the doing of good deeds, that their faith might be alive within them and bear the ripe fruits of piety.
Devoting thyself to monastic ideals, thou didst found many monasteries and convents throughout Northumbria, O most glorious one, nurturing generations of monastics in continence, and uprooting the passions from them like tares.
Again and again the timbers of the church where thou didst repose were utterly reduced to ashes, O holy Aidan; yet the wooden buttress whereon thou didst lean when thy soul took flight was never touched or consumed by the flames.
Hymn to the Mother of God: Now let us entreat the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the all-seeing Judge Who has forgiven mankind, Whose sufferings, resurrection and ascension the wondrous Aidan gloriously preached.
Exapostilarion of the Deposition; Glory…. that of the holy hierarch, Spec. Mel.: ‘Hearken, you women…’
Great was thy mastery of the Christian virtues, O Aidan, for thou wast utterly free of greed and avarice. Readily didst thou tend to the needs of the souls of thy new flock, unceasingly preaching to them the words of life. Wherefore, the sheep and lambs entrusted to thee by the Chief Shepherd greatly increased in number through thy pious ministrations.
Now & ever…. Exapostilarion of the Deposition, again.
At the Praises, 4 stichira of the Deposition; and Glory…. of the holy hierarch, Tone VI.
O royal Bamburgh, be thou exalted among all the towns of England, for within thy precincts did the holy Aidan commit his soul into the hands of his Master. And thou, O Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, whose soil was hallowed by the sacred remains of the athlete of Christ, shine forth upon us the grace of the Almighty, as the sun sheds its rays on the whole world, that, enlightened thereby, our eyes may clearly behold the straight and narrow path which Aidan trod and which leads us surely to the mansions of heaven.
Now & ever, of the Deposition.
See rubrics for Deposition of the Cincture of the Mother of God.