October 26, 2016

Commemoration of the Great Earthquake at Constantinople in 740

Commemoration of the Great Earthquake in 740 (Feast Day - October 26)


You shook but balanced again the earth O Word,
For of your wrath pity is greater.

In the twenty fourth year of the reign of Leo the Isaurian, in the year 740, at the ninth indiction, on the twenty-sixth of October, there was such a great and terrible earthquake in Constantinople, so that the upper stories and the more splendid of the other buildings collapsed, and many people were crushed under the ruins and died. And so on the day of the Great Martyr Demetrios we commemorate that terrible threat of the earthquake, going in procession to the Church in Blachernae of our all-pure, holy and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, where we celebrate the divine and sacred Liturgy. At the prayers of the Theotokos may we be delivered from every threat and attain eternal good things, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and might to the ages of ages. Amen.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Christ our God, You look upon the earth and it trembles; deliver us from the terrible threat of earthquakes; and through the prayers of the Theotokos, send down upon us Your abundant mercy and save us.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Third Tone
Deliver us all from upheavals, and from terrible afflictions caused by our sins, O Lord, and spare Your people whom You have purchased with Your blood, O Master. Do not deliver Your city to destruction by terrible earthquakes, for we know no other God than You; and to those who cry out You respond: “I am with you and no one will be against you.”

At the Aposticha, Idiomel Stichera of the Earthquake.

A composition of Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain.

Tone 2.

When the earth was troubled in fear of your rage, hills and mountains were shaken, Lord; but having looked upon us with an eye of compassion, in your anger do not be enraged at us; but with compassion for the creation of your hands free us from the dread threat of earthquake, as you are good and love mankind.

Tone Pl. 3.

Verse: You shook the earth and troubled it.

Fearful are You, Lord, and who can stand against Your just rage? Or who can entreat You, or who can supplicate You, good Lord, on behalf of a people that has sinned and is in despair? The heavenly armies, Angels, Principalities and Powers, Thrones, Dominions, the Cherubim and the Seraphim cry out to you on our behalf: Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O Lord; do not despise the works of Your hands; through Your compassionate mercy save a city endangered.

Verse: Who looks upon the earth and it trembles.

The Ninevites by their transgressions heard they would be submerged through the threat of earthquake; but by the mediating sign of the whale, repentance summoned resurrection through Jonah; but as You took pity and accepted them, at the cry of Your people with the children and beasts, through Your Resurrection on the third day spare us too who are being punished, and have mercy.

Kathisma in the Fourth Tone
Because from Your unendurable wrath that threatened us You have delivered us and had mercy on us, showing us, O Christ, an ocean of love for mankind, we now give You thanks, having been chastised so as to turn from our wicked deeds that slay us. But look upon us, have compassion on us, O Savior, at the entreaties of the one who gave you birth.

Let all we believers assembled honor with songs and hymns this great Saint as a soldier and Martyr of Christ, as we cry aloud to the Master and Creator of the inhabited world: Deliver us from the constraint of earthquakes, Lover of mankind, at the prayers of the Mother of God and of all the Martyrs; for in You we hope to be delivered from dangers and afflictions, because You are our strength.

Immaculate Virgin-Mother, do not cease to implore the Lord who was incarnate from your pure blood on behalf of us who are your servants, that we, the race of mortals, may find grace and prompt help in time of need, rescuing us from the threat of fearsome earthquakes and from dangers by your mother’s prayers.