Thursday, October 17, 2019

Service of the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries

The Synaxis of the Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries (source)
  
Note: This is an in-progress translation of a liturgical service in praise of the Holy Wonderworking and Unmercenary Physicians. This is a translation of a Greek text, which places their feast on October 17th (that of Sts. Cosmas and Damian from Arabia, along with their brothers and fellow unmercenary martyrs Sts. Leontios, Evtropios and Anthimos). The traditional 20-numbered band of Holy Unmercenaries in the Greek tradition of course is by no means exclusive. There are of course female Holy Unmercenaries (Sts. Philonilla, Zenaida, Hermione, and even St. Anastasia Pharmakolytria in some traditions. There are other Saints not necessarily known as physicians in their lifetimes, but are known for many wondrous cures and therefore are sometimes numbered with the Unmercenaries (such as Sts. Vlasios, Spyriodon, Artemios, etc.) Finally, there have been later additions to the holy band of Unmercenaries through the passage of time, most notably St. Luke the Surgeon of Simferopol, who reposed in the 20th century. As a result, let this not serve as a fixed or exclusive service, but one in prayer to our Lord to heal our many physical, psychological and spiritual afflictions with His mighty arm, through the intercessions of His healing Saints, who left behind every earthly repose, "placing all their hope in heaven" (from the Idiomelon to the Holy Unmercenaries), while giving their lives in love for their fellow men.

Also note, a vespers text exists from the Russian tradition which places this feast on the first Sunday of November (likely in proximity to the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor who celebrate November 1st). As such, I have begun by translating the Matins text and may proceed to the Vespers and the Matins Canon at some point. Finally, note that the translation is not set to the Byzantine meter of the Prosomoia. May the Saints pray for us all and heal our world!

Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (source)
  
Matins
 
After the First Stichologia, the Kathisma in the First Tone. Your tomb, O Savior.
Let us celebrate, O godly-minded ones, the divine and joyous memory of all the sacred Unmercenaries, who are our patrons, and let us praise them out of duty, for they have become the common protectors and saviors of all those in dangers, who speedily deliver all those who hasten to them in faith.

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.
O unwedded and Pure One, Theotokos Maria, the only protection and covering for the faithful in dangers and trials and terrible circumstances, deliver all of those who place their hope in you, having you, O Lady, as a savior for our souls through your divine intercessions.

After the Second Stichologia, the Kathisma in the Third Tone. The beauty.
Unemptying wealth of sympathy and goodness is poured out upon us by the divine Unmercenaries, and no mind of mortals, nor mellifluent tongue can tell of the surpassing ocean and the true streams of their many wonders. Therefore we cry out to them: Rejoice, O eternal springs.

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.
At the beauty of your virginity, and the resplendency of your chastity, Gabriel stood amazed and cried to you, O Theotokos: What are the appropriate words of praise to present to you? What name shall I call you by? At a loss and perplexed am I. And so as I was ordered I cry to you: rejoice, O you Who are full of grace!

After the Polyeleos, the Katisma in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone. The wisdom.
Paradoxically you received from Christ the gifts of heavenly wonders, and you heal all of our passions freely, for within you has shown forth the grace of the Spirit, working the power of divine healings. Therefore, you have inherited incorruptible good things through your unmercenary minds, O God-bearing Unmercenaries. Intercede with Christ God, that forgiveness of offenses be granted to those who celebrate you holy memory with fervor.

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.
Let us all praise the Queen and Mother of the Creator of all, and let us magnify her with our voices and cry out to her in hymns: O Virgin and All-hymned cause of joy, save those who honor you, and protect all those in temptations of all kinds and illnesses and trials through your intercessions, for, as the Mother of God, you have boldness. Entreat that healing of afflictions be granted to those who cry out to you. Intercede to your Son and God that your servants might be granted forgiveness.

Then the Hymns of Ascents in the Fourth Tone, followed by the Prokeimenon:
To His Saints who are in His earth, the Lord has been shown wondrous.
Verse: God is wondrous in His Saints.
 
Matins Gospel of the Feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Sts. Cosmas and Damian (November 1st)
 
Psalm 50.
 
Glory.
Through the intercessions of the Unmercenaries, O Lord of mercy, wash away my many personal offenses.

Both now.
Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, O Lord of mercy, wash away my many personal offenses.

Then the Idiomelon in the Second Tone.
Verse: Have mercy on me, O God...
The choir of the Saints rejoices unto the ages, for their have inherited the Kingdom of the heavens, while the earth that has received their Holy Relics breathes forth fragrance, for they became the servants of Christ, and have come to dwell in eternal life.

Then the Priest says the, "O God, save Your people..." Followed by the Canons to the Theotokos and the Holy Unmercenaries (to be translated at a later time).
  
Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (Source)
  
Kontakion in the Second Tone.
You have received the grace of remedies, spread strength over those in need, glorious, wonderworking Physicians; but by your visitation, cast down the insolence of enemies, healing the world by wonders.
 
The Oikos.
The word of the wise Physicians surpasses all understanding and wisdom; for having received grace from the Most High, they invisibly bestow strength on all; therefore on me too they have bestowed the grace of narration, to sing their praise as God-bearing, well-pleasing to God and healers, who grant multitudes of cures; for they rescue all from pains, healing the world by wonders.
  
Synaxarion
On this day (October 17th) we honor the Synaxis of all the Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries (twenty in number).

Verses
I ever honor together the Unmercenaries,
Being gathered here in their church.
The twenty-numbered band of the Unmercenaries,
O choir, save those you entreat you.
Twenty, therefore, Unmercenaries, I ever hymn.
  
Then, the Katavasies of the Theotokos, followed by the 9th Ode.
  
Exaposteilarion in the Third Tone. In the Temple in Spirit.
Receiving the grace of healing from God, blessed Unmercenaries, you cure diseases and heal all those who faithfully have recourse to your divine shrine, and therefore with one voice, we worthily call your holy memory blessed.
 
Another for the Saints in the Fourth Tone. The Disciples gathered.
Together with Saints Kosmas, let us hymn Sampson, Panteleimon, the Damians, Ermolaos, Cyrus and John, Thalelleos, Aniketos, Tryphon, Diomedes, Leontios, Eutropion, Anthimos, with Mokios, Julian, and let us praises the Twenty and celebrate their joyous memory in a godly manner.
 
Theotokion in the same tone.
Let us hymn with a godly mind the Mountain of God, the Palace, and Lamp-stand, and Container, and Ark, and Altar, the Rod and fiery divine Throne and Gate, the Temple and Bridal Chamber, the Pure Virgin, from whom God became incarnate without change and in a manner surpassing nature, and deified our fallen nature, uniting it with the ineffable.
 
Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (source)
  
Then, the Praises, followed by the Prosomoia in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
What shall we call you?
What shall we call you, O Unmercenaries? Heaven, for you related the glory of God. Liturgists, for you ceaselessly glorified Him. Bodiless, for you put off the flesh. Stars, for you shine upon the ends of the earth. For many are your names, and even more are your accomplishments. Intercede that our souls be saved.
 
What shall we call you, O glorious ones? Physicians, for you heal the afflictions of mortals. Rivers, for you fill the earth with wonders. Saviors, for you save everyone from dangers. Lights, for you enlighten many. Many are your graces, and even greater are your awesome deeds. Intercede that our souls be saved.
 
What shall we name you, O wise ones? The uprooters of passions or the sower of virtues, noetic paradises, or fruitful plans, sending forth gifts, and nourishment, and granting incorruption to all. Many are your graces, and unemptying are your healings. Intercede that our souls be saved.
 
Your temple has been shown to be a river as from Eden, which surrounds the world, pouring forth and watering healings for the faithful, granting grace freely to those who cry out to you with fervor and in faith: Many are your wonders, O all-blessed Unmercenaries. Intercede that our souls be saved.
 
Doxastikon of the Praises in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
(Modeled after the Doxastikon: "The Choir of the Holy Fathers", from the Sundays of the Holy Fathers)
The multitude of the Holy Unmercenaries, who have been gathered from the ends of the earth to rejoice on this joyous day, and whom we hymn harmoniously today together at their sacred shrine, in which they stand invisibly, together with Christ Who crowned their sacred heads, and grants to them the unending grace of wonders. To them let us cry out melodiously: O divine assembly, hoplites inspired by God, in the Lord's army, ever-shining stars of the noetic firmament, the unassailable towers of mystical Sion, the fragrant flowers of Paradise, the fervent physicians of the sick, the boast of the Martyrs, the pride of the Righteous, ceaselessly intercede on behalf of our souls.
 
Both now. Theotokion.
O Lady, do you receive from your servants their entreates, and deliver us from every danger and trial.
 
Then the Great Doxology, followed by the Apolytikion of the Saints in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
O Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, visit our infirmities. Freely you have received, freely give to us.
 
The Epistle and Gospel from the feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damian (see November 1st).
 
Megalynarion for the Holy Unmercenaries.
You received the gift from God of healing the afflictions of the faithful, and speedily delivering from the gravest passions those who call upon you, O Unmercenaries.
  
The Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (Source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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