Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kontakion for All Saints by St. Romanos the Melodist

Christ depicted with all His Holy Saints (source)
Kontakion for All Saints by St. Romanos the Melodist
Note: The Proimion I and the first Oikos below are taken from the link below, while the rest of the text following is an amateur translation from the Greek.
Prooimion I
O Planter of creation, Lord, to You does the entire world bring as an offering the God-bearing martyr Saints, as being nature’s first fruits. At their earnest entreaty, keep Your Church in a state of profoundest peace, through the Theotokos, O Lord abundantly merciful.
1. Those who were martyred throughout the earth,
And those who moved their homes to the heavens,
The imitators of Christ’s suffering,
And those who remove from us our suffering,
Here today are gathered, shown to be the first fruits of the Church,
Having held it as the type of that above.
And they cried out to Christ, “You are my God; preserve me.
This, through the Theotokos,
as You are most merciful.”
2. Having gathered from every city
And being our compatriots,
They came out from all the world,
And have taken us from the world,
And have made us participants in the feast.
Together with that above, creation below dances,
For the Angels cry out with us:
“O God, You are truly wondrous among Your Saints,
O Most-Merciful One.”

3. Let us celebrate a sacred feast,
For the things on earth have become heaven.
The lights among the firmament,
The Martyrs among the multitudes
Have shone upon the Church,
And enlightened the whole world,
That David might therefore say with us,
That “Your lightning has shown upon the earth,
O Most-Merciful One.”

4. Now you hear strange things,
And behold divine and incomprehensible deeds.
Everywhere the blood of the Martyrs,
As roses without thorns,
Have been sown, pouring forth healings,
And breathing forth the fragrance of gifts,
From which we receive deliverance from the passions,
And cry to God: “Your hand is lifted high,
O Most-Merciful One.”

5. Their struggles and crowns,
Their sweat and wonders,
Cannot be related by word, nor circumscribed by place.
The Church beholds them,
As arrayed in garments fringed with gold,
And standing beside You as a queen,
God, the immortal and incorruptible King,
O Most-Merciful One.

6. Let us continuously chant unto our God,
For He has richly poured forth grace,
As Joel preached beforehand.
“I will pour out,” he writes, “from the Spirit
Upon my sons and daughters.”
For this strength guided the champions
In word and and power,
And silenced the mouths of those against You,
O Most-Merciful One.

7. They were not swayed by vain wealth,
For they loved Your Kingdom.
They neglected things of this life,
And kept in memory the incorruptible things.
They went forth on the road,
Preferring to die rather than to live,
That they might pass on to Your life,
And be fed with Your good things,
O Most-Merciful One.

8. Appearing before rulers more fierce than beasts,
Your Saints, O Lord,
Came into dangers and wrath,
And were greatly tortured in anger,
As lambs torn apart by wolves.
But You, the Lamb of God and our Shepherd,
Granted them Your help,
Thus for You, they endured blows,
O Most-Merciful One.

9. Your word alone made the Saints follow You, O Lord,
For You said, “Let he who wishes to follow me
Deny relatives and parents.”
Eagerly they cast off everything,
And as being naked, they followed You,
The true Way and Spring of Life,
And with un-taught knowledge, they believed in You,
O Most-Merciful One.

10. Having partaken of the sacrifices [to idols],
The lawless fell upon them.
But [the Saints], beholding Your heavenly supper
With their spiritual eyes,
Did not defile themselves with the filth of the idols,
But praised You by mouth, and blessed You,
That they might become partakers of Your good things,
Of which Your Disciples were made worthy,
O Most-Merciful One.

11. Everyone beheld with astonishment
That the mouths of beasts were calmed,
And they approached [the Saints'] bodies and lied at their feed,
Serving, or rather embracing them,
For who would dare to struggle against Your Saints?
For the fire again became like the brazen furnace for them
[as the fire which did not burn the Three Youths],
Therefore teaching them to honor Yours,
O Most-Merciful One.

12. The devil was struck down, and fell along with all his power.
For he emptied his quiver of arrows,
And was unable to hit Your Soldiers.
And he raised up a wave, to cast them upon the rock,
But could not overturn them, nor shake them,
For they had You as their firm foundation,
O Most-Merciful One.

13. They were truly patient with patience,
And they struggled according to the rules.
They fought the good fight,
And finished the course of the race.
They kept the faith,
And instead of all these pains,
They received Your crowns.
Through their intercessions, be merciful to us,
O Most-Merciful One.

14. Richly is Your grace poured forth,
To those who need it and entreat You with faith.
Therefore, I, the unworthy one, entreat You,
O Merciful Lord,
That a small drop of Your Spirit,
Like a drop of rain,
Be sent to me, I ask,
That I might therefore chant and speak,
And enrich many from Your gifts,
O Most-Merciful One.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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