14th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 6. Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross. Sunday after Elevation. Martyr Sophia, and her three daughters: Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadézhda), and Love (Liubóv’, Charity), at Rome (ca. 137).
Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection)
The Angelic Powers were at Your tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Your grave, seeking Your most pure body. You captured hell, not being tempted by it. You came to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord, Who rose from the dead,// glory to You.
Tone 1 Troparion (Cross)
O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance! Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Your Cross,// preserve Your habitation!
Tone 4 Troparion (St. Nicholas)
The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of meekness and a teacher of self-control; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you.// O Father Bishop Nicholas, pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.
Tone 5 Troparion (Martyrs)
You blossomed in the courts of the Lord as a fruitful olive tree, O holy martyr Sophia; in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb, your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love.// Together with them intercede for us all!
Tone 6 Kontakion (Resurrection)
When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race.// He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and the God of all.
Tone 3 Kontakion (St. Nicholas)
You proved yourself to be be a holy priest, O Nicholas. You served God in Myra and lived the gospel of Christ. You offered your life for your people, And rescued the innocent from death. Therefore God has glorified you as a trustworthy guide of things divine.
Tone 1 Kontakion (Martyrs)
The holy branches of noble Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love, confounded Greek sophistry through Grace. They struggled and won the victory// and have been granted an incorruptible crown by Christ the Master of all.
Tone 4 Kontakion (Cross)
As You were voluntarily raised upon the Cross for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your Name, O Christ God; make all Orthodox Christians glad by Your power, granting them victories over their adversaries// by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Your weapon of peace!
Tone 7 Prokeimenon (Sunday after)
Extol the Lord our God: / worship at His footstool for He is holy! (Ps. 98:5)
V. The Lord reigns, let the people tremble! (Ps. 98:1a)
Galatians 2:16-20 (Epistle, Sunday After)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
2 Corinthians 4:6-15 (Epistle)
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. Remember Your congregation, which You have gotten of old! (Ps. 73:2)
V. God is our King before the ages; He has worked salvation in the midst of the earth! (Ps. 73:13)
Mark 8:34-9:1 (Gospel, Sunday After)
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
Matthew 22:35-46 (Gospel)
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
Commemorated Sept. 19th
Saint Theodore was the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), and one of England’s great saints. He was a Greek from Tarsus, the home of Saint Paul. He was a highly-educated monk living in Rome who was quickly advanced through all the clerical ranks and consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of sixty-five. Saint Adrian (January 9), an African who was the abbot of a monastery near Naples, was sent to assist Saint Theodore.
Saint Theodore arrived in Kent in 669, when he was almost seventy. In spite of his age, he was quite energetic, traveling throughout England founding churches and consecrating bishops to fill those Sees which were left vacant by an outbreak of plague. He also created new Sees and established a school in Canterbury where Greek was taught. In Northumbria, Saint Theodore settled a dispute involving episcopal succession. Saint Wilfrid (October 12) had been elected Bishop of Lindisfarne (the See was later transferred to York), and he traveled to Gaul to be consecrated by a Roman bishop, because he would not accept consecration from a Celtic bishop. In the meantime, Saint Chad, or Ceadda (March 2), had been elected and uncanonically consecrated because Wilfrid remained in Gaul for three years. Although Saint Theodore deposed Saint Chad, he recognized his worthiness to be a bishop. He regularized the consecration, then sent Saint Chad to be Bishop of Mercia. Saint Wilfred was restored to his See.
Saint Theodore summoned a council of the entire English Church at Hertford in 672. Not only was this the first church council in England, it was the first assembly of any kind attended by representatives from all over the country. In 679 he convened another synod at Hatfield to maintain the purity of Orthodox doctrine and to condemn the heresy of Monothelitism.
Saint Theodore fell asleep in the Lord in 690, and his body remained incorrupt for a long time. Under his leadership, the English Church became united in a way that the various tribal kingdoms did not. The diocesean structures which he established continue to serve as the basis for church administration in England. He was respected for his administrative skills, and also for his moral and canonical decisions.
St. John Maximovitch, On The Cross
The Cross of the Lord was the instrument by which He saved the world after the fall into sin. Through the Cross, He descended with His soul into hell so as to raise up from it the souls who were awaiting Him. By the Cross, Christ opened the doors of paradise which had been closed after our first ancestors had been banished from it. The Cross was sanctified by the Body of Christ which was nailed to it when He gave Himself over to torments and death for the salvation of the world, and it itself was then filled with life-giving power. By the Cross on Golgotha, the prince of this world was cast out (John 12:31) and an end was put to his authority. The weapon by which he was crushed became the sign of Christ’s victory.
The demonic hosts tremble when they see the Cross, for by the Cross the kingdom of hell was destroyed. They do not dare to draw near to anyone who is guarded by the Cross.
The whole human race, by the death of Christ on the Cross, received deliverance from the authority of the devil, and everyone who makes use of this saving weapon is inaccessible to the demons.
One cannot enumerate all the separate examples of the manifestation of the power of the Cross in various incidents. Invisibly and unceasingly there gushes from it the Divine grace that saves the world.
Without regular confession, it becomes more difficult to uproot the passions within us. Just as an old tree can’t be cut down with just one stroke of an ax, so a habitual sin can’t be expelled with only one movement of contrition of the heart. It takes many more.
— Elder Cleopa Ilie