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June 7, 2020

Canon 2 of Holy Pentecost (St. John of Damascus)

Canon II of Holy Pentecost
Composed by John Arklas (St. John of Damscus)
In Tone IV

Ode I

Irmos: He who was slow of speech, having been covered with divine darkness, gave utterance unto the divinely written law; for, having shaken off the mire from his noetic eyes, he beheld He Who Is and learned the understanding of the Spirit, uttering praise with hymns divine.

The pure and honored mouth said: “There shall not be division for you, O friends; for, sitting on the exalted throne of the Father, I will pour forth the Spirit, to shine forth abundant grace upon those who desire it.”

The Word most true Who hath passed beyond the bounds [of the earth] calmly perfecteth the heart; for having finished His work, Christ gladdened His friends, giving them the Spirit through the violent wind and the tongues of fire, as He promised.


Irmos: Of old, the mere prayer to the mighty God of understandings by Hannah the Prophetess, who bore a contrite spirit, broke the bonds of her barren womb and the reproach of the child-bearing, which was hard to bear.

Unapproachable is the most divine Principle; for thereby have unlettered fishermen been shown to be rhetors, who shut the mouths of the sophists with their words and rescue countless souls from the depths of night with the radiance of the Spirit.

The omnipotent, shining Light proceeded from the unbegotten Light, Who, through the Son of the Father’s authority, now revealeth to the nations the conjoined effulgence, the fiery voice in Sion.

Ode IV

Irmos: O Word, Thou King of kings, Who alone didst issue forth from such a One as Thou wast Thyself—from the Father Who is without cause and Thy Spirit, Who is equal to Thee in might: As our Benefactor, Thou didst truly send forth the apostles, who chant: Glory to Thy dominion, O Lord!

Having prepared the divine washing of regeneration by Thy word, O compound Nature, Thou dost pour forth upon me a stream from Thy side, which was pierced incorruptibly, sealing me with the fervor of the Spirit, O Word of God.

All things bend the knee to the Comforter, and the Son of the Father, and the Father Who is with Them; for they have seen in the three Persons a Being Who is true, intangible, timeless, and one; for the grace of the Spirit hath shone forth light.

Let all, as many as are servants of the thrice-radiant Essence, be filled with divine Principle; for Christ, as our Benefactor, in manner transcending nature perfecteth and shineth forth fiery light for our salvation, imparting all the grace of the Spirit.

Ode V

Irmos: O radiant children of the Church, receive ye the fiery dew of the Spirit, the cleansing of sins that delivreth; for now from Sion hath gone forth the law, the grace of the Spirit in tongues of fire.

As of His own accord He was well-pleased, the Spirit, Who is without a master, proceedeth from the Father, making the apostles wise in tongues, sealing the life-bearing discourse, conformable and indued with the power of the Father, which the Savior uttered.

That He might heal men’s minds of sin, lo! God the Word, the Author of all, made the apostles an all-pure abode, wherein the light of the Spirit, Who is equal in power with Him and shareth His nature, now dwelleth.

Ode VI

Irmos: O Christ Master, our purification and salvation, Thou didst shine forth from the Virgin, that Thou mightest rescue from corruption Adam, in whose fall our whole race fell, as thou didst save the Prophet Jonah from the belly of the sea monster.

O Almighty One, renew Thou within us who have received Him the true and upright Spirit, Who eternally proceedeth from the Father while remaining wholly united with Him, Who burneth away the defilement of hateful matter and washeth away the mire of evil thoughts.

Swiftly showing the words of heathen blandishments to be cruel, with fiery inspiration Thou dost confirm for the apostles, the dwellers in Sion who await Thy coming, their worthy desire: the Spirit of the Word Who was begotten of the Father.


Irmos: The melodious music of instruments sounded forth, summoning men to worship the inanimate idol wrought of gold; but the radiant grace of the Comforter preferreth that they cry: O only Trinity, Who art equal in power and equally without beginning, blessed art Thou!

Failing to perceive the sound of uttered prophecy, the mindless said that it was drunkenness caused by wine when they heard the strange speech of the apostles; but we, the pious, cry out to Thee in godly manner: O Benefactor of all, blessed art Thou!

The godly Joel, Who beheld visions of the divine Principle, thundered forth divine doctrine, saying: I shall pour forth of My Spirit like discourse upon those who cry out together: O radiant and three-voiced Nature, blessed art Thou!

Seeing, [the Spirit] distributed the grace of the Trinity, that He might reveal that [all are] now to worship the three Hypostases in a simplicity of power, yet on the one day of the Lord, the blessed Son, Father and Spirit.


Irmos: The thrice-radiant image of the Godhead looseth bonds and bedeweth the flame; and all of fashioned creation blesseth as its Benefactor the one Savior and Accomplisher of all.

Having heard mention from the Father of the words that save men, Christ said to the apostles: “In a vision of tongues of fire will the Spirit arrange to sit with blessing upon His own.“ And creation, once alienated, doth hymn Thee.

O Thou Who alone art self-governing, self-emitting Light, Who bestowest light, Thou didst come as Savior, filling the apostles; and to Thy servants Thou givest the Spirit which filleth like an honored wind.

The mouths of the prophets, filled with the Spirit, sang of Thine advent in the body, O King, and of the Spirit Who issued forth to the faithful from the bosom of the Father—uncreated, the Author of things, equally enthroned—that they might worship the only Incarnation.

Ode IX

Irmos: Rejoice, O Queen, thou glory of mothers and virgins! For even the most skillful and divinely eloquent mouth is unable to hymn thee as is meet; and every mind is at a loss to understand thy birthgiving. Wherefore, together we glorify thee.

It is fitting to hymn the Maiden who produced Life; for in her womb she hid the Word Who concealeth ailing human nature, and Who, now sitting at the right hand of the Father, hath sent forth the grace of the Spirit.

As many of us as divinely-flowing grace hath breathed upon are filled with light and splendor, changed by a strange and most magnificent alternation; and acknowledging the Wisdom which is equal in power and indivisible, we glorify the thrice-radiant Essence.

Translated by the reader Isaac E. Lambertsen and published in The Pentecostarion of the Orthodox Church (Liberty, TN: St. John of Kronstadt Press, pp. 292-296), 2010.