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Month of May

THE 15th DAY

Commemoration of the Holy Passion-bearer Hallvard of Husaby, Defender of Oslo
Composed by Reader Isaac Lambertson

At Vespers

On "Lord, I have cried …", these stichera of the holy passion-bearer, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: "On the third day ..." -

Moved to Christian pity, O Hallvard, by the sight of a woman pursued by wicked men, in thy boat thou gavest her refuge on the waters, that she and her unborn child might escape their savage retribution, and so doing didst piously forfeit thine own life.

O Hallvard, exemplar of wondrous piety, whose conduct was guided by the teachings of Christ, thou didst reason with those who sought revenge, entreating them to spare the innocent; wherefore, their arrow cut short thy life, and thou didst fly to heaven as if loosed from a bow.

Mindful of the precept of the Lord, that we love God above all and our neighbour as ourself, without hesitation thou didst defend the woman heavy with child, O Hallvard, against those who sought to slay her; wherefore, thou now abidest in the mansions on high, where thou prayest for those who honour thy memory with love.

Glory ... , of the holy passion-bearer: Idiomelon, in Tone VIII -

Like the merchant who found a precious treasure in a field, and sold all he had to acquire it, so did Hallvard find the kingdom of heaven on the waters of Dremmenfjord, for there at the cost of his life he obtained the jewelled crown of martyrdom, exchanging this transitory existence for life everlasting by striving courageously to save the life of a woman heavy with child from the hands of evildoers. Wherefore, assembling, O ye who love the martyrs, let us render high praise unto him as a goodly athlete of Christ, who fought the good fight and gloriously finished the course, receiving the wreath of victory from the Judge of the contest.

Now & ever ... , from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: "O all-glorious wonder ..." -

"I cannot bear to see Thee, O my Child, Who givest vigilance to all, asleep upon the Tree, that Thou mayest bestow divine and saving wakefulness upon those who of old fell into the sleep of perdition by eating the fruit of disobedience!" the Virgin said, weeping, whom we magnify.

Aposticha from the Pentecostarion or the Octoechos; and Glory ... , of the holy passion - bearer: Idiomelon, in Tone II -

Come, all ye Orthodox peoples! Come ye, Christian people of Norway! Come, ye citizens of Oslo! Let us extol Hallvard the wondrous youth. who, nurtured from infancy on the precepts of Christ, and reared in piety and reverence, bravely sheltered the defenseless woman, whose life and that of her unborn babe were sought by savage malefactors; for he was mindful of the words of Jesus, that no-one hath greater love, than that he lay down his life for his fellow man. Wherefore, let us imitate Hallvard as he imitated his Lord, that we also may be vouchsafed a place in paradise with Him.

Now & ever ... , from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion, or stavrotheotokion, in the same tone: Spec. Mel.: "When from the Tree ..." -

When the unblemished Ewe-lamb beheld her Lamb led forth of His own will, as a man, to the slaughter, she said, weeping: "Dost Thou now hasten to leave me childless who gave Thee birth, O Christ? What is this that Thou hast done, O Deliverer of all? Yet do I hymn and glorify Thine utter goodness which transcendeth understanding and speech, O Thou Who lovest mankind!"

Troparion of the holy passion-bearer, in Tone IV -

In his martyric death Hallvard cast aside riches and trampled sinful pleasures underfoot; and though his precious body was cast into the watery depths, it rose from thence at the divine behest as a sign for the faithful that his soul had ascended to paradise, where he prayeth unceasingly, entreating the compassion of God for us all.

At Matins

At "God is the Lord ...": If the feast fall within the period of Pentecost, the troparion of the Pentecostarion, twice; Glory ..., that of the hierarch; Now & ever ... , as prescribed by the Pentecostarion. But if the feast fall after the Pentecost period, the troparion of the passion-bearer, twice; Glory ... , Now & ever ... : Theotokion.

Canon from the Pentecostarion, or those from the Octoechos; and that of the holy passion-bearer, with 4 troparia, the acrostic whereof is "The Holy Church is adorned by Hallvard", in Tone VII -

Ode I

Irmos: To God Who drowned Pharaoh in the Red Sea let u s chant a hymn of victory, for He hath been glorified.

To Hallvard, who was slain for piety's sake, let us chant a hymn of victory, for he hath been glorified by God.

Heaven wondrously revealed the body of the passion-bearer when the malefactors cast it into the waters.

Evildoers sought to hide their crime; but the Lord showed that nought is hidden which will not be revealed.

Theotokion: Hosts of angels attend thee on high, O Virgin Theotokos; and the ranks of saints and martyrs ever hymn thee.


Irmos: O Thou Who lovest mankind. Who didst establish the heavens and make firm the foundation of the earth upon many waters: establish Thou my mind in Thy will.

Oslo, the city of kings, rejoiceth greatly in the holy passion-bearer Hallvard, for by his supplications are its foundations made firm upon the mighty waters of the Oslofjord.

Let the waters of Dremmenfjord leap up in gladness, for they received the hallowed body of the holy Hallvard with honour, but surrendered it at the command of God.

Ye Christian people of Husaby, rejoice and be glad exceedingly, for from your midst came forth a pious youth, who by his martyric end bringeth everlasting glory to you.

Theotokion: Come, ye earthborn, and with fervent hymns of praise let us honour the unblemished Ewe-lamb, who in her all-pure womb bore the Lamb of God, our Saviour and Lord.

If the feast fall within the period of Pentecost, the kontakion & ikos of the holy passion-bearer are chanted here. But if the feast fall after the Pentecost period, the kontakion & ikos of the holy passion-bearer are instead chanted after Ode VI.

Kontakion of the holy passion-bearers in Tone VIII

Like a merchant man seeking fine pearls, the young Hallvard plied the seas of life; and having freighted the ship of his soul with compassion and all the Christian virtues, he found a most precious treasure on the waters of Dremmenfjord, and sold all he had, purchasing it with the very blood of his life, for he bravely shielded the defenceless woman for the sake of Christ his God. Wherefore, marvelling at his innocence and valour, let us cry aloud: Wondrous is God Who is glorious in His saints!

Ikos: Having cravenly slain the godly Hallvard, the murderers sought to conceal their wicked deed; and tying a millstone to his body, they cast it forth into the waters of the Dremmenfjord. But God, Who said, There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and nothing hidden that shall not be known, caused the body of His saint to rise from the depths, bearing with it the heavy millstone, as a rebuke and accusation against the malefactors; for He likewise admonisheth us, saying: Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. O the omniscient providence of God! O the loving-kindness of Christ for His children! Let us therefore be not silent, but with the millstone let us boldly proclaim: Wondrous is God, Who is glorious in His saints!

Sessional hymn of the holy passion-bearer, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.:

"Having been lifted up ..." -

At the grave of Hallvard by the church of his kinsman, the holy King Olav, God wrought marvellous signs and wonders, healing the sick and afflicted, thereby bearing witness to the righteousness of His saint; wherefore, the pious, exhuming the precious relics of the passion-bearer, bore them with honour to enshrine them in great Oslo.

Glory ..., Now & ever …: Sessional hymn from the Pentecostarion; or this theotokion, in the same tone & melody -

Though I love sin, I beseech thee, O all-pure one, who gavest birth to the sinless God Who taketh away the sins of the world: Have pity on my most sinful soul, and wash away my many sins; for thou art the cleansing of sinners, the salvation and help of the faithful.

Stavrotheotokion - She who in latter times gave birth in the flesh to Thee Who wast begotten of the unoriginate Father, O Christ, seeing Thee hanging upon the Cross cried out: "Woe is me, O Jesus most beloved! How is it that Thou Who art glorified as God by the angels art now of Thine own will crucified by iniquitous men? O my long-suffering Son, I hymn Thee!"

Ode IV

Irmos: Thy virtue covered the heavens, O Lord, and Thou hast filled all things with Thy praise. Glory to Thy power, O Thou Who lovest mankind!

Husaby exulteth today in the passion-bearer Hallvard, and summoneth all the towns and villages of Norway to celebrate his holy memory.

Unto the pious youth Hallvard let us all fall down in homage, mindful of the words of Christ, for with mercy he treated the least of his brethren.

Rich in earthly goods, the devout Hallvard spurned wealth and power when he ardently strove to deliver a woman from unjust retribution.

Theotokion: Choirs of virgins and martyrs surround thy throne on high, O Queen of all, chanting hymns to thy celestial beauty and ineffable maternity.

Ode V

Irmos: Rising at dawn unto Thy glory and laudation. O Word, we unceasingly praise the image of Thy Cross, which Thou hast given us as a weapon to help us.

Hallvard was unjustly slain when the murderer's arrow pierced his neck, but his Christian death stabbed the wicked heart of the father of lies like a spear.

In rage and anger the three murderers slew Hallvard and the pregnant woman whom he sought to protect; but by his death the saint gained immortality.

Signs and miracles abounded at thy grave. O most glorious Hallvard, for God wondrously raised thy martyred body from the cold waters of the fjord.

Theotokion: All the generations of men call thee blessed, O immaculate Bride of the Most High, and the ranks of noetic beings never cease to praise thy mighty works.

Ode VI

Irmos: Sailing amid the tumult of the cares of life, I founder with the ship of sin and am cast to the soul-destroying beast; yet like Jonah I cry to Thee, O Christ: Lead me up from the deadly abyss!

Devout, chaste, honest and pure of heart, Hallvard imbibed the pure waters of the teachings of Christ; wherefore, without hesitation he came to the defence of the least of the children of God.

Offering to pay retribution, that the murderers would not put the poor woman and her unborn child cruelly to death, the saint imitated the One Who hath redeemed us by His precious Blood.

Remembering the words of Christ, "If ye have done it to the least of My children, ye have done it unto Me," Hallvard valiantly defended the oppressed woman, and lost his life for his Saviour.

Theotokion: Now sink we sinners beneath the vast burden of our offences, and the waters of life's trials inexorably engulf us; but extend to us thy maternal hand. and swiftly save us. O Mistress Theotokos.

If the feast fall within the Pentecost period, the kontakion & ikos from the Pentecostarion are chanted here; otherwise, the kontakion & ikos of the holy passion-bearer (see after Ode III) are chanted at this point.


Irmos: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, Creator of all, Who reinest in the cherubim, and didst save the children in the furnace!

Evil did not triumph over goodness, and the millstone tied to the saint floated upon the waters as a sign of God's favour and love.

Deadly was the murderers' sin; thus would it have been better had the stone been bound to their own necks and cast into the sea.

Blessed is the Lord God of our fathers, by Whose grace the wondrous passion-bearer gloriously finished the course of his life!

Theotokion: Ye Christian youths and maidens, praise the all-holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, who far surpasseth the cherubim in glory and dignity.


Irmos: Ye heavens of heavens, O earth and ye mountains, ye hills and depths of the sea, and all ye race of men, with hymns bless ye as Creator and Deliverer God Who is unceasingly glorified in the highest by the angels!

Hallvard dwelleth now in paradise and prayeth for his kinfolk on earth; wherefore, ye mountains and fjords of Norway. and all ye people of that land, bless the Creator and Deliverer Who hath glorified His saint.

Ascending to the heavens of heavens, the chaste-minded Hallvard joined the ranks of angelic beings and the companies of the martyrs, where with hymns he continually blesseth God, his Creator and Deliverer.

Let us praise the devout Vebjorn and Thorny, the pious parents of the passion-bearer; for, rearing their son in Christian piety and the fear of God, they trained him to defeat the adversary' like a mighty athlete.

Theotokion: Lady and Queen, Mother of God and Mother of us all, look down from the heavens upon the race of men, and in thy compassion come quickly to our aid. For if thou wilt not help us, where will we find a deliverer?

Ode IX

Irmos: Without seed thou gayest birth to the incarnate Word in godly manner, O Virgin Theotokos; and we magnify thee.

Virtue and courage filled the soul of the passion-bearer Hallvard; wherefore, we magnify him exceedingly.

Arise, ye people of Oslo, and giving fervent thanks to God for so wondrous a protector, magnify the holy Hallvard.

Residing in the mansions of heaven with all the servants of the Word, Hallvard magnifieth Him supremely forever.

Theotokion: Dead are we in soul. O Lady, and destined for the lake of fire; but save us therefrom, that we may magnify thee.

Exapostilarion of the holy passion-bearer: Spec. Mel.:. "Hearken, ye women ..." -

Arise, ye people of Norway, who have received so many heavenly benefits through the intercession of the wondrous Hallvard, and give thanks unto God Most High, Who in His infinite compassion and love for mankind hath bestowed upon all Christians so great a mediator.

Glory..., Now & ever ... , from the Pentecostarion; or this Theotokion -

Unto the preëternal divine Word. Who deigned to descend into thine all-pure womb, O Theotokos to assume our human flesh - God in two natures, but in one hypostasis - do we render worship and adoration; for by His ineffable love for our race have we been truly saved.

Aposticha from the Pentecostarion or Octoechos; and Glory ... , of the holy passion-bearer: Idiomelon, in Tone III -

Christ our God, our all-merciful Saviour, Who by His suffering and death on the Cross hath redeemed us from slavery to the devil and death by the drops of His precious Blood as with flawless rubies, did Hallvard ardently imitate, shedding his blood for the sake of the innocent; and by the arrow wherewith he was slain by the iniquitous he escaped the burning darts of the enemy of man.

Now & ever ... , from the Pentecostarion; or theotokion, or this stavrotheotokion: Spec. Mel.: "Great is the power of Thy Cross ..." -

A sword pierced thy heart, O all-pure one, when thou didst behold thy Son upon the Cross; and thou didst cry out: "Show me not to be childless. O my Son and God. Who didst keep me a virgin even after I gave birth!"

At Liturgy

Prokimenon of the holy passion-bearer, in Tone VII -

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

Stichos: Hearken, O God, unto my prayers, when I make supplication unto Thee.

A Reading from the Acts of the Holy Apostles, §17
[Acts 6: 8-15; 7: 1-5, 47-60]

In those days, Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, who said: "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God." And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, who said: "This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Then said the high priest: "Are these things so?" And he said: "Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken: the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said unto him, 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.' Then came he out of the land of the Chaldæans, and dwelt in Haran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet: 'Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or 'What is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?" Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain those who showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it." When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Alleluia, in Tone IV -

Stichos: The righteous man shall flourish like a palm-tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.

Stichos: They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God they shall blossom forth.

Gospel according to John, §52
[Jn. 15: 17-16: 2]

The Lord said to His disciples: "These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not him that sent Me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He who hateth Me hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father. He shall testify of Me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

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

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