THE 20TH DAY OF THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.