26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST—Tone 1 (13th of Luke)
Sunday of the Forefathers. Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Anthea (2nd c.).
At "Lord, I Call", sing the stichera verses (6) for the Resurrection in Tone 1.
Then the following stichera (4) for the Forefathers in Tone 8.
Today, as we celebrate the Forefathers' memory, let us the faithful praise Christ the Redeemer, Who magnified them in all the nations! He is the Lord Who does wondrous deeds, for He is powerful and mighty! Through them He has shown us the rod of His strength: she is Mary, the only pure and Virgin Maiden of God. From her Christ blossomed,// bringing forth life, eternal salvation, and unending bliss for all.
Master, You delivered the Holy Youths from the fire, and Daniel from the mouths of lions; You blessed Abraham, Isaac, Your servant, and Jacob, his son; You consented to become like us by being born of their seed, to be crucified and buried, in order to save our Forefathers, who fell of old. Thus You crushed the bonds of death and raised with Yourself all the dead of ages past, who worship You,// O Christ, King of the ages.
Walking amidst the flames as in a gentle shower of rain, the Godly Youths exulted in the dew of the Spirit. By this they mystically prefigured the Trinity and Christ's incarnation. Wise through faith, they quenched the power of the fire. So also the righteous Daniel stopped the mouths of lions. Through their intercessions we beseech You, O Savior, the Lover of mankind: “Deliver us from the unquenchable and eternal fire// and make us worthy of Your heavenly Kingdom!”
Standing in a furnace of flaming fire as though in dew, the Holy Youths mystically prefigured Your coming from a Virgin, by which we are illumined but not consumed. So also the righteous Daniel, glorious among the Prophets, clearly revealed Your divine second coming when he cried out: “I saw thrones set up and the Judge was seated, and the river of fire flowed before Him.”// By their intercessions save us from this fire, Christ our Master!
After “Glory…” in Tone 6 (Forefathers)
Today, let us the faithful acclaim all the Fathers before the Law: Abraham, the friend of God, Isaac, born of the promise, Jacob and the twelve Patriarchs, honoring with these the gentle David, and Daniel, the Prophet of Desires, and the three Youths who changed the furnace into dew. Let us ask forgiveness of Christ our God,// Who is glorified in His saints!
After “Now and ever…” sing the Dogmatic in Tone 1
Let us praise the Virgin Mary, the gate of heaven, the glory of the world, the song of the angels, the beauty of the faithful! She was born of man, yet gave birth to God! She was revealed as the heaven, as the temple of the godhead. She destroyed the wall of enmity. She commenced the peace; she opened the Kingdom!
Since she is our foundation of faith, our defender is the Lord Whom she bore. Courage! Courage, O people of God, for Christ will destroy our enemies since He is all-powerful.
At the Aposticha, sing the verses of the Resurrection in Tone 1.
After “Glory...” in Tone 3 (Forefathers)
Come all who love the feast, let us praise in psalms the assembly of the Forefathers: Adam, our first Father, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and those who came after the Law: Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel and David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and with them the Twelve Prophets: Elijah, Elisha, and all the rest, Zachariah and John the Baptist: all those who proclaimed Christ,// the Life and Resurrection of the human race!
After “Now and ever…” Resurrectional Theotokion in Tone 3
By the will of the Father, without seed, of the Holy Spirit, Thou didst conceive the Son of God. He was born of the Father before eternity without a mother; but now, for our sake, He came from thee without a father. Do not cease entreating Him to deliver our souls from death!
Resurrectional Troparion, Tone 1
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews; while the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure Body; Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to Thee, O Giver of Life: "Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou Who lovest mankind."
Troparion, Tone 2 (Forefathers)
Through faith Thou didst justify the Forefathers, betrothing through them the Church of the gentiles. These saints exult in glory, for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: She who bore Thee without seed.// So, by their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us!
Resurrectional Dismissal Theotokion, Tone 2
All beyond thought, all most glorious, are thy mysteries, O Theotokos. Sealed in purity, preserved in virginity, thou wast revealed to be the true Mother who gave birth to the true God. Entreat Him to save our souls.
Today we commemorate: The Sunday that falls between December 11-17 is known as the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. These are the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, who lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3, 22:18).
The Priest Martyr Eleutherius, his mother the Martyress Anthea and the Martyr Corivus the Eparch: Saint Eleutherius, the son of an illustrious Roman citizen, was raised in Christian piety by his mother. His virtue was such, that already at age 20 he had been elevated to bishop of Illyria. Under the emperor Adrian (II), Saint Eleutherius, after torture for his bold preaching about Christ, was beheaded at Rome together with his mother Anthea. The eparch Corivus, who had tortured Saint Eleutherius, himself came to believe in Christ and was executed.