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Month of February


Commemoration of Our Father among the Saints Ansgar, Archbishop of Bremen & Hamburg, Enlightener of Denmark & the North
Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

At "Lord, I have cried …", 6 stichera: 3 of the righteous Symeon (see in the Menaion); and 3 of the holy hierarch, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: "Having set all aside …" -

O ye who love the feasts of the Church, come, let us pay homage to the wondrous Ansgar, the model of Christian virtue and piety, who hath joined chorus in heaven with the martyrs and holy hierarchs of Christ; for kings honoured his sanctity, pastors venerated the purity of his life, and all men declared him to be upright and holy. Wherefore, mindful of his teachings, let us rejoice exceedingly, for thus are we able to walk without faltering in the way of the commandments of God.

Heeding the exhortations of the holy Ansgar, let us guard against the snares of the adversary; for the devil, our ancient foe, when he seeth someone leading the devout Christian life, doth try the more to trip him, so as to destroy what is holy, and he striveth to take it away by crafty persuasion and wicked endeavour, lest it be imitated by others. But let us be attentive to the admonitions of the holy one, that we, like birds, may escape the nets of the evil one, soaring aloft unto Christ our Creator.

Loving God from earliest infancy, O blessed one, and thy neighbour as thyself, thou didst bow thy neck beneath the easy yoke of holy obedience and didst take the light burden of the Lord upon thy shoulders, being clothed in the angelic habit at Corbey in Piccardy. Wherefore, thou didst hate all that is vainglorious and didst spurn what is unprofitable for the soul, attending fervently to prayers, vigils and fasting, so that the world became dead to thee and thee to the world. Pray thou therefore that our souls be saved.

Glory …, of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon, in Tone V -

Yearning for the crown of martyrdom, thou didst eagerly consent to go to Denmark, O saint, where thou didst proclaim the true God unto the pagan hordes, preaching to them the right doctrine of salvation and the Christian Faith. Wherefore, illumined by the grace which dwelt in thee, the number of those who could be saved in the Lord increased daily, for thou didst zealously fulfil the commandment of Christ, declaring the Word of God unto the nations.

Now & ever …, of the feast.

Aposticha of the feast (see in the Menaion); and Glory ..., of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon, in Tone III -

Withering under the shadow of pagan ignorance, like plants the Swedes strove toward the bright effulgence of knowledge divine; and to the Christian realm they dispatched emissaries, seeking a wise husbandman to graft them onto the Tree of Life. Wherefore, the fearless Ansgar set forth most eagerly to illumine them with the grace of God, and having braved perils and death during his journey, he revealed to them the path to immortality, baptizing them in the name of the All-holy Trinity, and making them steadfast in the one true Faith. And having attained unto the mansions of heavens, he watcheth over the peoples of Scandinavia with the eye of his lovingkindness, unceasingly entreating Christ God in their behalf.

Now & ever..., of the feast.

Troparion of the holy hierarch, in Tone IV -

Ever moved by love for God and man, O Ansgar, like the apostles thou didst journey afar to bring salvation to the benighted, offering up thine afflictions upon the altar of thy heart, in thy toils and distress bearing witness unto thy Saviour like a martyr, enduring perils on land and at sea for His sake, undaunted by temptations and tribulations. Wherefore, pray with boldness, that our souls be saved.

Glory …, Now & ever … Troparion of the feast (see in the Menaion).

At Matins

At "God is the Lord …", the troparion of the feast, twice; Glory …, that of the holy hierarch; Now & ever …, that of the feast, once.

After the kathismata of the Psalter, the sessional hymns from the Menaion.

Canon of the feast, with 6 troparia, including the irmos; that of the righteous Symeon, wit/i 4 troparia; and this canon of the holy hierarch, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is "O holy warrior, do battle for us sinners", in Tone III -

Ode 1

Irmos: Let us sing unto Christ the Saviour, Who delivered Israel from slavery and overwhelmed Pharaoh in the sea, for He hath been glorified forever.

Onerous is the burden of my manifold offences, O Christ my God, yet in Thy mercy ease it, that, free from its weight, I may hymn Ansgar Thy saint.

Hearkening to the commandment of God, to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Trinity, Ansgar brought the Danes to Christ.

Overcoming every obstacle the evil one set in thy path, thou didst bring the light of divine grace to the heathen nations of the North, O valiant one.

Theotokion: Lady and Queen of heaven art thou, O most pure one; for thy Son, the incarnate Logos, took thy precious soul into His hands at thy repose.


Irmos: O barren and sterile soul, acquire thou right glorious fruit, and cry out in gladness: I have been made steadfast by Thee, O God! There is none so holy or so righteous as Thou, O Lord!

Yearning ever for the Promised Land on high, O glorious Ansgar, thou didst willingly depart thy native land and travel afar to render fertile the barren and sterile souls of the Danes.

With thine apostolic discourse, as with a fisherman's nets, thou didst draw a great draught of the souls of the Danes and Swedes to the shore of heaven, O saint, presenting them to Christ.

As an experienced husbandman grafteth sprigs upon a fruit-tree, O holy one, so didst thou with great skill graft the Danes and Swedes upon the Tree of Life, the Holy Church of Christ

Theotokion: Rightly do we deserve retribution and punishment for our sins, O Ever-virgin Theotokos; but open thou our hearts to true repentance, that we may receive forgiveness and remission from thy Son.

Kontakion of the righteous Symeon (see in the Menaion). And the kontakion of the holy hierarch, in Tone VI -

Throughout the North the heathen raged, clinging to the emptiness of idolatry, assembling together against Christ and His Church. But the valiant Ansgar broke asunder the bonds of false belief and freed the Danes and Swedes from demonic oppression, giving their lands to God for His inheritance, even the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Wherefore, in the fear of the Lord and with trembling they served Him, rejoicing, in Orthodox manner.

Sessional hymn of the righteous Symeon (see in the Menaion); and Glory …: Sessional hymn of the holy hierarch, in Tone III: "Awed by the beauty of thy virginity …" -

Hating the truth of Christ, by lying oracles the foul demons opposed the preaching of Ansgar; but by fasting and prayer the holy hierarch prevailed over them mightily, as the Lord promised in the Gospel; and thereat the saint rejoiced in spirit, exulting in the Lord, Who by His providence and love for mankind had brought salvation to Sweden and Götland.

Now & ever …: Sessional hymn of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Ode IV

Irmos: Thou hast shown us constant love, O Lord, for Thou didst give Thine only-begotten Son over to death for us. Wherefore, in thanksgiving we cry to Thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Responding to the supernal love of God, thou didst show forth surpassing love for thy sheep, O blessed and wondrous Ansgar, laying down thy life for the sake of their eternal salvation.

In Corbey of Piccardy wast thou clothed in the angelic habit, and in New Corbey on the Weser thou didst live the life of reverent obedience, O Ansgar, who dwellest now with the angels.

O namesake of godly prowess, through divine grace endow us with spiritual skill, that like thee we may bravely fight the good fight, trampling the adversary in triumph under our feet.

Theotokion: Rich reward will be the lot of those who live and act in a God-pleasing manner, O all-immaculate one; but, slothful and dishonest, we will gain only perdition if thou wilt not intercede for us.

Ode V

Irmos: Thou hast appeared on earth, O Invisible One, and of Thine own will hast dwelt with men, O Unapproachable One. And rising early unto Thee, we hymn Thee, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Denmark boasteth exceedingly in thee, O angelic Ansgar, and Sweden greatly hymneth thee, for, dwelling among their peoples thou didst bring them the Light of Christ, Who loveth mankind.

Offering up the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, O Ansgar, devout hierarch, thou didst nourish therewith the souls of those whom thou didst teach to laud the One Who alone loveth mankind.

Bremen was given over to thine archpastoral care, joining Hamburg, for which thou hadst received hierarchal consecration, O saint of God; and over both dost thou watch from heaven.

Theotokion: Angels and men together hymn the magnitude of thy glory, O thou who knewest not wedlock, for, assumed into heaven, soul and body, thou art enthroned as Queen at thy Son's right hand.

Ode VI

Irmos: With unceasing groans I cried unto our compassionate God, and He hearkened unto me from the uttermost depths of hades, and hath raised up my life from corruption.

The rivers and seas of the North were honoured to bear thee on thine apostolic journeys, O Ansgar, disciple of Christ, for the ship of thy soul was propelled by the Holy Spirit.

Truly wast thou a good shepherd for the flock of thy Lord, and not a base hireling, O blessed hierarch, for with all thy might thou didst fend off the wolves of polytheism.

Looting and pillaging, the heathen marauders sacked thy city of Hamburg, enslaving the sheep of thy flock, O saint; but thou didst labour to redeem them all from bondage.

Theotokion: Even the most eloquent of rhetors fall mute when they try to describe the mighty things which thy Son, the preëternal Word, worketh through thy mediation, O Lady.

Kontakion & ikos of the feast (see in the Menaion)


Irmos: Proud was the tyrant; yet he was as a plaything for the children; for, trampling underfoot the flame heated sevenfold, they chanted: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Foresight was granted thee by God in visions and dreams, O blessed one, that, strengthened in spirit, thou mightest not fear the perils which await all who preach the God of our fathers.

Over all that thy Lord entrusted to thee didst thou show thyself to be an honest steward, O Ansgar; wherefore, high in His favour, thou dost cry: Blessed is the Lord God of our fathers!

Ribe, the great port, became the site of thy first church in Jutland, O Ansgar, and there thou didst firmly plant the Cross of Christ, crying: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

Theotokion: Upon thee did the Spirit descend, O Virgin who knewest not man, when in obedience to the divine will thou didst say to the angelic messenger: "Be it unto me according to thy word!"


Irmos: God Who was begotten of the unoriginate Father before time began, and in latter days clothed Himself in flesh from the Theotokos, do ye hymn, bless and exalt supremely for all ages, as perfect man and true God!

Sensing the power of divine love which shone forth from thee, the Danish king received the enlightenment of holy baptism at thy hands, O Ansgar; wherefore, he gladly built a church of Christ for thee in Schleswig.

Sweden gloried in the light of Christ, which thou didst fearlessly bring into its midst, dispelling the gloom of idolatry and delivering from the darkness of unbelief those who sat in the shadow of perdition and death.

In all the lands of the North is thy name revered, O Ansgar, for thy virtuous works were ever in accord with the beauteous words thou didst preach, for which cause the hearts of men were opened to the grace of salvation.

Theotokion: Never did corruption or the passions take root within thine undefiled soul, O pure and most holy Bride and Mother of God; wherefore, without corruption thou didst conceive God in thine immaculate womb.

Ode IX

Irmos: Commemorating the saints, we magnify thee, the Theotokos who knew not wedlock, as her who gave birth to the Salvation of our souls.

Night and day didst thou purify thy soul by heartfelt tears and fasting, mortifying the flesh and the passions, O holy one; wherefore, pray for us.

Eaten by illness, yet uncomplaining, Ansgar continually uttered the words of Christ on the Cross: "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!"

Rejoicing in the highest with the ranks of angels and the choirs of saints, O great Ansgar, thou dost ever watch over the sheep of thy flock.

Theotokion: Salvation came to our race through thee, O pure Theotokos, who didst find favour with God: for thou gavest birth to the Saviour of our souls.

The first exapostilarion of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Glory …: Exapostilarion of the holy hierarch: Spec. Mel.: "By the Spirit in the sanctuary …" -

Repeating the words of the Lord, the holy Ansgar exhausted his frail body on his death bed, and enjoined his disciples to utter them when he could not continue; and thus with faith did he commit his pure soul to his Master's hands.

Now & ever …: The second exapostilarion of the feast (see in the Menaion).

Aposticha from the Menaion; and Glory …, of the holy hierarch: Idiomelon, in Tone I -

Imitating the blessed saints of old, and holding the great Martin of Tours as his model, in the fear of God Ansgar mortified his flesh, and, mindful of the Psalmist's words, wore sackcloth against his skin day and night. And though as a monk he delighted in stillness, yet strove he like the Apostle to be all things to all men, healing the infirm by prayer and unction, and supporting the needy by his generous assistance, giving shelter to orphans and widows, ransoming captives and strengthening the faithful, so that he became the eyes of the blind, the feet of the lame, and a father to paupers. Wherefore, O ye who love the saints of the Church, let us lift up our voices in praise of him who never ceaseth to intercede for us before the throne of God on high.

Now & ever …, of the feast (see in the Menaion).

At Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from Ode I of the festal canon, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the righteous Symeon.

Prokimenon of the feast; and this prokimenon of the righteous one, in Tone VII -

The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.

Epistle to the Hebrews, §321, from the midpoint
[Heb. 9: 11-14]

Brethren: Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own Blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Alleluia of the feast; and that of the righteous one, in Tone VI -

Stichos: A light hath dawned forth for the righteous man, and gladness for the upright of heart.

Gospel according to Luke, § 8
[Lk. 2: 25-38]

At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. And Symeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother: "Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Communion Verse of the feast, and that of the righteous one -

In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.

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