Friday, February 20, 2015


The prophets, inspired by Your Spirit, O Lord, foretold that You, whom nothing can contain or grasp, and who has shone forth in eternity before the morning star from the immaterial and bodiless womb of the Father, was to become a child, taking flesh from the Virgin, being joined to men and seen by those on earth. At the prayers of these Your prophets, in Your compassion count us worthy of Your light, for we sing the praises of Your ineffable and holy Resurrection.

The divinely-inspired prophets preached You in word and honored You in works, and they received as their reward a life without end. For they steadfastly refused, O Master, to worship the creation instead of You, the Creator; They renounced the whole world for the Gospel’s sake, and in their suffering they were conformed to Your Passion which they had foretold. At their intercessions, count us worthy to pass through the period of the Fast without offence, for You alone are rich in mercy.
You who are uncircumscribed, O Master, in Your divine nature, were pleased in the last times to take flesh and be circumscribed;
and in assuming flesh, You have also taken on Yourself all its distinctive properties. Therefore we depict the likeness of Your outward form, venerating it with an honor that is relative. So we are exalted to the love of You, and following the holy traditions handed down by the apostles, from Your icon we receive the grace of healing.

As a precious adornment the Church of Christ has received the venerable and holy icons of the Savior Christ, of God’s Mother and of all the saints. Celebrating now their triumphant restoration, she is made bright with grace and splendor, and drives away all heretics. With great rejoicing she gives glory to God who loves mankind, and who for her sake has endured His voluntary Passion.
The grace of truth has shone upon us; the mysteries darkly prefigured in the times of old have now been openly fulfilled.

For behold, the Church is clothed in a beauty that surpasses all things earthly, through the icon of the incarnate Christ that was foreshadowed by the ark of testimony. This is the safeguard of the Christian faith; for is we hold fast to the icon of the Savior whom we worship, we shall not go astray. Let all who do not share this faith be covered with shame; but we shall glory in the icon of the Word made flesh, which we venerate but worship not as an idol. So let us kiss it, and with all the faithful cry aloud: O God, save Your people and bless Your inheritance.

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