Our Venerable Father Paisios the Athonite
Service of Great Vespers
Chanted on the 12th of July
Chanted on the 12th of July
Composed by Metropolitan Joel of Edessa
After the Proemial we do the Blessed is the Man. After Lord I have cried we do the appointed verses and we chant the following prosomoia.
Tone 1. All-lauded martyrs.
From childhood you zealously loved, the monastic state, and the solitary life, revered Paisios, therefore you overlooked, the attractions of this world, and all pleasures and inclinations, fixing your mind venerable one, towards that which remains, even paradise, as a bodiless angel.
As a member of the secular army, you became a model to your companions, Paisios, devoting yourself to a godly mind, and later you joined the monastic order, anointing many to be favorable, towards piety, by your sayings, signs and wonders, which you performed, through the divine grace of Christ.
You went up to the mountain of Sinai, and lived venerably, in imitation of Moses, and the author, of the divine Ladder, glorious Paisios, you lived in fasting as one who is bodiless, therefore you gained the graces of the Paraclete, as those of old, the Fathers and the saints.
In Konitsa you became, a brother of the Monastery of Stomniou, and you were most obedient, as a novice of Esphigmenou, and you made famous, Venerable One, Philotheou, and though you were like an angel in Sinai, you dwelt as a lamb, providing for the Bedouins, sacred one, the offerings of your life.
The cenobium of Souroti, you supported Father with your teachings, and various wonders, you revealed yourself Paisios, to those pious women, as being illumined by God, an anointed guide and teacher, wherefore your grave, contained in the monastery, is like a treasury, made glorious venerable one.
You see to it to take care of the youth, ascetic Paisios, a helper of the sick, and liberator of youths from addiction, to substances holy one, being under the influence of narcotic plants, the healer of atheists, the support of students, and all domestics and notables.
Glory to the Father. Tone Plag. 2.
You swiftly directed ascetics, along the well worn path, towards works of virtue, God-bearing Paisios, you preached to earthly men from the heart, your nous was occupied with unceasing prayer, and the vision of the uncreated light; wherefore having tasted, the gifts of your graces, we sing hymns to you venerable one, cheerfully saying, the Rejoice offspring of Farasa, glory of Athos, pillar of Konitsa, teacher of monastics, and inhabitant of Sinai, Rejoice having been invested with the garment of dispassion, and having become, a guide of youth, a restorer of the fallen, and return of those in error. Rejoice the example of monastics, the model of the worldly, and the refreshment and dew, of the Orthodox faithful. And now the divinely adorned Elder, without ceasing entreats Christ God, for us who devoutly celebrate, your sacred annual commemoration.
Both now and forever. Theotokion.
Who will not bless you, All-holy Virgin? Who shall not praise your birth-giving free of pain? For the Only-begotten Son coming timelessly from the Father has ineffably become incarnate within you, O pure one; He Who was God by nature became man by nature for our sake, not divided into two persons but known by two natures not mixed or confused. Plead with Him, O blessed one, for the salvation of our souls.
Entrance, O Gladsome Light,
the Prokeimenon of the day, and the readings.
Proverbs 10:7, 6; 3:13-16; 8:6, 34-35, 4, 12, 17, 5-9
The reading from Proverbs
The memory of the just is praised, and the Lord’s blessing is upon his head. Blessed is one who has found wisdom; a mortal who knows understanding. To import her is better that treasures of gold and silver. She is more valuable than precious stones; nothing of value equals her worth. Justice proceeds from her mouth; she carries law and mercy on its tongue. Therefore, my children, listen to me; for I speak weighty things; and blest the one who keeps my ways. For my goings out are the goings out of life, and favor is prepared from the Lord. Therefore I exhort you, and utter my voice to the children of men. Because I, Wisdom, have prepared counsel, I have called upon knowledge and understanding. Mine are counsel and sureness; mine is prudence, mine is strength. I love those who are my friends, while those who seek me will find grace. You innocent, understand cunning; you untaught, take it to heart. Listen to me, for I will speak weighty things, and I will open right things from my lips. Because my throat will meditate truth; lying lips are abominable before me. All the words of my mouth are with justice, there is nothing crooked in them nor twisted. They are all straight for those who understand, and right for those who find knowledge. For I teach you what is true, that your hope may be in the Lord and that you may be filled with spirit.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:7-15
The reading from the Wisdom of Solomon.
But the righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest. For old age is not honored for length of time, nor measured by number of years; but understanding is gray hair for men, and a blameless life is ripe old age. There was one who pleased God and was loved by Him, and while living among sinners he was taken up. He was caught up lest evil change his understanding or guile deceive his soul. For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. Being perfected in a short time, he fulfilled long years; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore He took him quickly from the midst of wickedness. Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, nor take such a thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and He watches over His elect.
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9
The reading from the Wisdom of Solomon.
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of Himself; like gold in the furnace He tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering He accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in Him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with Him in love, because grace and mercy are upon His elect, and He watches over His chosen ones.
For the procession, Idiomela.
Be glad in the Lord, state of Athos, monastics and mixed, that in the last days, as a spring flower, from your meadow, the venerable Paisios bloomed. Therefore the most wondrous one, through the pouring out of his tears, as a good agriculturalist, you cultivated in his soul, the tree of virtues, sprouting, delivering the fruit, of dispassion and foresight, and the therapy of the passions, and healing of sicknesses, of soul and body. Wherefore now, let us run to him entreating, and crying out with faith: intercede to the merciful God, for us who sing hymns, to your life holy one, and your many graces.
By the same dead will, like another Paul, you were liberated from the passions, and attired with a garment, of the light-appearing Paraclete, wherefore you were made worthy to see, visibly people's thoughts, foreknowing the future, and saying beforehand what was to take place, to those who came to you, Father Paisios; therefore we also, stretch out our hands to you, as one who has boldness, entreating for your prayers, as we go through the sea of life, and arrive at the harbor, of the Heavenly Kingdom.
Venerable Father, every day, a crowd of people, as an ark of salvation, encircled your hut, seeking the salvation of their souls, some for the healing of sickness, others for the settlement of their thoughts, or for the release of the offenses of life; wherefore now at your grave, the faithful likewise come, asking for these things, Elder Paisios. Therefore we pray for them, that these things may be accomplished for them and for us, ever-blessed one.
The saltiness of the passions surpasses the sea, and of the spirits of wickedness, you tore down their pride, becoming a possessor, of the Paraclete Spirit, most venerable Paisios. By your pure nous as in a mirror, you beheld the God-man Lord, His All-Pure Mother, Loukilianos and Euphemia, the glorious martyrs, and the countenances of other saints, wherefore intercede to the Lord, that He may have mercy on our souls.
Glory to the Father. Tone 4.
The imitator of Christ, Paisios the venerable, who lived on the Holy Mountain, let us praise you with encomiastic words, by the fountain of your tears, the fiery passions were put out, brightening your soul, and cleansing your mind, showing yourself to be most golden, and a most radiant vessel of grace; and you commonly join together with the ascetics, to continuously intercede, for those who call upon, your honorable name.
Now and forever. Tone 4. Theotokion.
From all dangers protect your servants, blessed Theotokos, that we may glorify you, the hope of our souls.
Verses and Prosomoia.
Tone Plag. 1. Rejoice the ascetics.
Rejoice offspring of Farasa, ever-flowing river of the Holy Mountain, the badge of piety, the nourisher of Souroti, the example of ascetics, the ornament of Sinai, the guardian of Konitsa, and all Greece, the most-bright sun, the most new, care-giver and helper, the heavenly man, and angel in the flesh, the physician of the ill, the relief of those in pain, Father Paisios, the new star of the Church, the much-wondrous.
Honorable before the Lord is the death of His venerable ones.
Rejoice who in the last days, has become manifested to all, as a most-ready helper, of the children of Athoniada, a model of life, and an excellent preacher of piety, alleviating those who suffer, correcting the undisciplined, a quick support of those in need, an undiminished joy to those who are troubled; you who have been called by God, are widely approached by the faithful, performing for those in fear, and in condition of soul, Father Paisios, the aid of the venerable ones, and foremost of them.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord.
Having in the last days, the grace of insight Venerable One, you appointed priests, and they faithfully revered you, ascetics and others as a teacher; excellently rebuking the thoughts of the nous, the hidden, sicknesses of the soul, healing them, God-bearing Paisios. Wherefore your name has quickly spread throughout the earth, and because of this they all entreat, your help, to be healed, in soul and body, ever-blessed one.
Glory to the Father. Tone Plag. 4.
You lived as an ascetic, prevailing over the pleasures of life, the satisfaction of the flesh, and all pleasant living, Elder Paisios, you very often received, the visitation of divine grace; in your cell you beheld in a vision, Euphemia the great martyr, and with her you spoke as if friend to friend, of her contests, a most dignified discourse, with her do not cease venerable one, to continuously intercede, for our souls.
Now and forever. Tone Plag. 4. Theotokion.
Lady receive, the entreaties of your servants, and redeem us, from all needs and troubles.
Now let your servant depart.
And the Apolytikion.
Tone 1. The citizen of the desert.
The offspring of Farasa, and the adornment of Athos, and the imitator and equal in honor of the venerable ones from ages past; let us honor Paisios O faithful, the vessel full of graces, who hastens speedily to the pious faithful who cry out: Glory to Him Who gave you strength, Glory to Him Who crowned you, Glory to Him Who grants through you healings for all.
Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
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The above is a rough draft text.