Troparion at “The Lord is God”
Within the Temple, O Temple of Life, you found Him whom the universe cannot contain, silencing the teachers by the word of God which is above the wisdom of the wise. O all-pure Mother of God, cease not seeking your children who are lost; that we may treasure Christ in our hearts, and find eternally our Father’s House.
First Sessional Hymn
Come, O feast-lovers take up again your hymns, adorn the earth, O Church with a new praise, speak comfort to all the lost throughout the world, naming that holy Woman who found God in her womb and who by His grace gives to all who seek great and abundant mercy.
Glory…now and ever. Repeat.
Second Sessional Hymn
Born from barren Hannah’s pain, Samuel foreshadows the painless birth from the Virgin’s womb of Him Who came to take all pains on Himself. But as He chose, so did you, O All-Holy Lady, receiving a swordthrust by holy choice, as daughter not as slave and, abiding a little loss, finding the Pearl beyond price.
Glory…now and ever. Repeat.
Third Sessional Hymn (after the Polyeleos)
To the Woman who has cast aside all for the Treasure, and who has sold everything for the Pearl, who has sought out the Good Fish, is given the gift of finding: Boast, barren and poor in spirit, boast of the Lord!
Glory…now and ever. Repeat.
I will make your name to be remembered from generation to generation!
Verse: Forget your people and your father’s house, and the King will greatly desire your beauty.
Gospel: Luke 1:39-49,56
Sticheron after Psalm 50
I am the sheep astray among the thorns, the pit closes in and the waters meet over my head, O Lady rise to heaven and thunder, that I might see You on the heights, and hear Your voice calling me. Find me and rescue me, O Mother of God.
Troparia on the Acrostic: ”O Holy Mary, remember Maximos” With the Acrostic in the Triadica: ”Splendid” And in the Theotokia ”Searcher” .
Katavasia of the Season
Crossing the water as though dry land, * escaping from Egypt * and its miseries in his flight, * the Israelite raised his voice and cried aloud, * ‘To God our Redeemer now let us sing!’
Refrain: Most Holy Theotokos, save us!
Oysters hide their pearls from sight; * But you, O Lady, * held the Pearl of Great Price, * the hidden Trove thrown open to our gaze, * Who, when we seek Him, finds us.
High up the parted Red Sea flung its treasures, to guide * Israel’s searching feet, * So the Word of God emptied Himself, * parting a womb with his flesh.
On before them two pillars marched: * fire and cloud * to light and lead the search * for the Land promised by our God, * Whose Mother we praise in hymns.
Sing Seraphim and chant Cherubim: * To Light from Light * who makes bright our search. * Seek Him early, my heart, before the dawn: * Father, and Son and Holy Spirit.
Stand enrapt before the Lady all-pure, * Angel of God; * Speak the Lord’s greeting, * pressing all heaven into your speech: * Hail! O woman full of grace!
I shall open my mouth and it will be filled with the Spirit, and I shall sing a hymn to the Queen and Mother; and I shall celebrate with splendor and sing with joy of her wonders.
In the beginning Your Wisdom made firm the skies, * and on the waters you set the earth. * O Christ, let your precepts be my founding rock! * For none but You is holy, * O Lover of Mankind.
Look you barren on Samuel’s wondrous birth, * touch in mind the mystery of love. * Mary’s Son turns away barrenness and all death, * the Riser and the Conqueror * and Lover of Mankind.
Young David was hid among wand’ring sheep * from Samuel the prophet’s search. * And among us sheep all gone astray was hid * David’s Daughter who gave birth * to the Lover of Mankind.
Make music from David’s words, O Church: * Where can I hide from your Face? * Your hand shall find me, hold me fast * through your Mother’s prayers, * You who love mankind.
Power and glory and majesty are yours * O God, in nature One, * Holy Trinity without division, * Creator and Master of all * and Lover of Mankind.
Enamored Solomon foresaw your beauty, * O Lady, Wisdom’s glory. * Save from the snares of fools and sin * your servants who call on you, * the Searcher for the Lost.
O Theotokos, living and overflowing fountain, strengthen those who applaud you in this spiritual gathering; and in your holy feast make them worthy of crowns of glory.
The all-pure Mother searched for her Son * and pondered his Gospel in her heart. * Glory to her abounding care! * Glory to her unfailing help! * Glory to her, the steadfast Searcher for the Lost.
Glory…now and ever. Repeat.
I have heard, Lord, the mystery * of your dispensation, * I heard and was afraid, * I have meditated on your works * and exalt and glorify your Deity.
At Your sound, Lord, Habbakuk * trembled in fear, * foreseeing your Virgin birth. * But she who pondered in her heart * without fear will find the lost.
Rahab’s rope, Lady, let down * the hidden scouts; * you strung your handmaid’s words * which let the Word down into flesh * to search for his lost people.
You went forth, Lord, to save! * trampling down * the waters of error and sin, * raising up your Mother for us * the Searcher for the Lost.
Let us all, faithful, give praise * to God our Father, * and his Son without beginning * and the Spirit who gives life to all, * our God the holy Trinity.
All of us, Lady, magnify. * your holiness, * for you gave birth to God the Son * who gave you to us his Church * to be Searcher for the Lost.
He who sits in glory on the throne of divinity: Jesus the supreme God, came down on an ethereal cloud and with His pure hand redeemed those who cry out to Him: glory to your power, a Christ!
Why have You driven me far from your face, * O unapproachable Light? * The outer darkness has enveloped me, * wretched creature that I am. * Make me return, I pray You, * and direct my paths towards the light of your law.
Reeling out your prophets for us, * O unapproachable Light, * Your mighty right hand has sought us out, * among all the storms of sin. * Gather us into your apostles’ nets * by your Mother’s holy and steadfast prayers.
Early at dawn we search for You, * O unapproachable Light. * Save us through your Mother’s prayers * from your lifted hand and your consuming fire; * Those who dwell in dust shall awake * for Your glory on earth is everlasting light!
Make this gnawing darkness bright, * O unapproachable Light; * not the lightless glow of hellish flames, * nor the lava flow of selfish lust, * but by tender Mary’s searching pleas * the new dawn of your grace in my soul.
Escaping darkness through the incarnate dawn * of the unapproachable Light, * we praise our saving, triune God * help in trials that He is! * Give to us strength, we pray to you, * Father, Son and all-Holy Spirit.
Remember your servants who call on you, * Mother of the Light * Unconsumed you bore the Fire * untouched by man you bore the Son. * Undaunted by our hearts of stone, * find us and bring us to our God.
The universe was amazed at your divine glory, for you, O Virgin, who knew not wedlock, have borne in your womb the God of all and have given birth to an eternal Son, who grants salvation to those who praise you.
I pour out * my supplication to the Lord, * and to him I shall declare my afflictions, * for, see, my soul has been filled with evils * and now my life has been drawn very close to Hell. * Like Jonas I appeal to you, * ‘O my God, bring me up from corruption!’
Entombed, I call * to you, Lady, out of my distress: * God’s Presence in the temple I cannot see, * or feel the breath of his holy mouth, * or touch the warmth of his warming sun, * I am tangled in the ocean’s weeds, * hurry to my deliverance, and have mercy on me.
Many walls * in the city echoed your cries * as you searched for your Son who was lost. * Beyond the walls rang your Calvary lament * We have no Mother who does not know grief * nor a High Priest without temptation. * Lead us in our search for the Light and save us!
Be our ally * Lady, as Rachel was Jacob’s. * Through guile she frustrated Laban’s search; * Now you, with the wisdom of a serpent, * cheat the snake who seeks to swallow the life * of your servants who call on you * as our Helper and the Searcher for the Lost.
New-made ropes * could not keep Samson bound, * nor a new-hewn tomb enclose the Word * who rose in glory on the third day, * driving Death like smoke from before his face, * who reigns in glory on a throne * with the Father and the Spirit, one God for eternity.
Cover me, * with the wings of your love * for to you I run for your protection, * I who am lost among the evils of this life * and whose life is drawn very close to the Abyss. * O Lady, I appeal to you, * All-pure One, bring me up from corruption.
Come, divinely inspired, let us clap our hands and celebrate this holy and most honorable feast of the Mother of God and glorify God who was born of her.
O Lady, strengthen our hearts and knees * and lead us healed along level paths. * For we have wandered far from your Son * into anger and loss and many sins. * Search for us who call on your name * and bring us safe into our Father’s house.
He who rested in the Ark * amazed the teachers where the Ark reposed, * and she who surpassed the Ark * searched Sion for the Lord of Heaven. * He who emptied himself into her care * has given his Mother to his Church * to seek for all the lost who call * and bring them safe into our Father’s house.
The Three Youths from Judea * who attained to the faith of the holy Trinity * in Babylon of old, * sang out as they trampled * on the furnace’s raging flames, * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * the God of our Fathers!’
Enveloped in the flames * the youths recalled Sinai’s Burning Bush * and cried out in prayer. * O Lady search for us the lost * so that we may sing their hymn: * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * the God of our Fathers. ‘
Reaching out toward the youths * the flames yearned for flesh to char and burn, * as Death sought for Christ * But both flames and Death * met the shock of this song: * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * the God of our Fathers. ‘
Many flames lick my soul * and my passions rule where Christ should reign; * Babylon holds me fast!* Visit me like Habakkuk, * Lady, feed me that I may sing: * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * and the God of our Fathers. ‘
Drive out the Canaanites * though they have chariots of iron and are strong! * Teach me your laws, * Holy Trinity our God, * so that I may sing to you: * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * and the God of our Fathers. ‘
Hear our prayer, Mother * from the midst of these flames in life’s furnace; * our children cry, * our parents search for peace. * Find for us the strength to sing: * ‘Blessed are you, O God, * and the God of our Fathers.’
The three young men divinely inspired, refused to worship creatures instead of the Creator. But with courage they trampled upon the threatening fire and sang joyfully: Blessed are You, O all praised Lord, the God of our Fathers.
The King of heaven, * whose praise the Angels are singing, * all the hosts of the bodiless powers * praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
A wake, O my soul! * Praise the Woman who searches * for all who seek to sing to her Son: * praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
” ‘X’ marks a target, * and my Son made his breast a mark * for Death’s darts,” says She who sings: * praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
I stand amazed * and praise your steady zeal, * O Searcher for the Lost, who cries: * praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
In the beginning * you made heaven and earth, * Father, Son and Holy Spirit. * Praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
Evening falls * O Lady, and we are lost! * Lead us to the Dawn to sing: * praise him and exalt him most highly to all ages.
The maternity of the Theotokos preserved the three young men in the furnace. Then it was prefigured but now that it is accomplished, it brings the whole world together to sing: O works of the Lord, praise and exalt Him forever.
We who through you, O Virgin, * have been saved confess you * to be most truly the one who gave birth to God, * with all the choirs of the heavens we now magnify you.
Make a joyful sound, O Church * to the Mother of our God. * True shepherd, she searches out the lost sheep. * All generations call her blessed and magnify her.
Our sins are as scarlet, Lady, * who will make them white as you? * From the swine pen, your prodigal children cry: * O loving Searcher for the Lost we magnify you!
Suffering by your Son’s cross, * you bore a new child, figuring * in his person the Church of Christ, * in which the lost are found and magnify you.
Dread and great darkness * came upon Abraham in his dream, * He lifted up his voice to magnify you, * one God: Father, and Son, and all-Holy Spirit.
Returning from Jerusalem * you pondered Christ in your heart. * Return our lost hearts to your Son and God; * lend us your voice to magnify his sacred name.
Let every human being take up a torch and let him dance in spirit and let the immaterial spirits celebrate this holy feast of the Mother of God and cry out: Rejoice, O all-blessed and pure and ever Virgin Theotokos!
Light has dawned that we may find our way: O Lady, be our guide, you who are Searcher for the Lost.
Glory be…now and ever….Repeat.
4 Stichera at the Praises
Thus says the Lord through his prophet: “Behold! I myself will search for my sheep and I myself will seek them where they wander!” His own Mother he has set upon our trail, to track us over our winding paths, and lead us into the level places where green pastures and still waters will revive us, body and soul.
Faith drove you through the city’s streets searching for the Son you bore: “Your angel called me full of grace, you set the moon beneath my feet, yet now my heart is pierced and bleeds. I will reach out to your Father’s house and touch the hem of your mystery; only finding you can heal my flow of grief.”
Hope drove you through the city’s streets searching for the Son you bore: “My soul is cast down within my breast, the roar of your cataracts has covered me, deep calls on deep in my search for your face. O send forth your light and your truth and lead me upon your holy hill, for I will find my hope on Sion’s slopes.”
Love drove you through the city’s streets searching for the Son you bore: “I sought him who my soul loves; I sought him but found him not, whose cheeks are like beds of spices. O that his left hand were under my head and that his right hand embraced me! I will find you in your Father’s house.”
Glory. Now and ever. Same Tone.
The Mother saw the Life hung upon the cross and cried to the Lord with tears; “I am afflicted, but not crushed, perplexed but without despair, persecuted but not lost, struck down but not destroyed. I will show all the lost for whom I search the might of your death and resurrection.
Great Doxology. Troparion, Litanies and Dismissal.