On October 20 of last year, Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew announced the canonization of St. Joseph the Hesychast—the spiritual progenitor of a new hesychastic monastic movement on Mt. Athos and other parts of the world, especially in the United States and Canada. The Vigil and Divine Liturgy services to St. Joseph were translated by the monks of Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery in Williston, Florida—spiritual successors to the great Athonite saint through their spiritual father, Elder Ephraim (Moraitis; †2019). The translators have kindly permitted us to make this service available on OrthoChristian.com.
The divisions in the text relate to Byzantine chant.
The Services to our Venerable and God-Bearing Father,
Joseph the Hesychast
Celebrated August 16
For Lord, I call, we chant the following Stichera:
First Tone. O strange wonder
O STRANGE wonder great and marvelous! * thou didst shine like a star * in the gloom of latter days; * illumining, by thy light, the darkness of our times * and teaching to all that Christ * is now and unto the ages unchangeable. * The slothful thou raisest up * when they behold thine example of laboring. * And thou art, O Father Joseph, * the adornment of all monks * with the choirs of the righteous, * thou delightest in eternal joy.
O THY longing love for pleasing God, * O thrice-blessed Joseph * and thy love of laboring! * Thy love for the God of all and for thy fellow man * thy spiritual poverty * for flowing streams of compunction thou gushest forth. * Thy life which thou didst complete * in peace and quiet and silence unknown to all! * And thou now abidest, resting * in the dwellings of the saints. * And receivest the payment * for thy multitude of struggles here.
O THY great and loving providence, * Jesus Christ our Savior! * For Thou didst forsake us not * in darkness of modern times—we Thine inheritance. * Yet now even as before * Thou raisest up chosen servants who honor Thee. * The grateful and full of faith * who follow Thy most divine and all-holy will. * And who for the sake of Thy love * have endured all patiently. * And Thou hast made them worthy * of Thy kingdom which shall have no end.
SINGING do I praise thy labors now * and thy haste for virtue, * meekest saint and Hesychast. * Thy zeal for the will of God and thy denial of self. * Thy vigilance in The Prayer * by which the traps of the enemy didst thou flee. * Enduring the ridicules * of those who hated thy God-pleasing way of life. * Yet thou didst fulfill thy purpose * by unconquered eagerness * as one worthy to enter * in thy Master’s everlasting joy.
Glory. Plagal of Second Tone
O RIGHTEOUS Father, thou didst follow the Lord in all haste when He called thee, for when thou hadst heard His voice, thou didst not remain among the cares of life. But having wisely arranged all, thou didst take up thy cross on thy shoulders, and thou didst not turn to the things behind; rather having thy heart warmed by Grace, thou didst carry out thy life, loving labors. Wherefore, having been made worthy of much aid from the Lord, thou wast ever in mourning and solitude. Yet, most compassionate Father, who for the sake of the life to come hast desired nothing on this earth, remember thy disciples, and rescue us, by thy prayers, from those who create scandals in the church, for thou now hast eternal life.
Both Now. Postfeast. Same Tone
COME, let us celebrate the universal feast of the Dormition of the allblameless Theotokos; for Angels keep festival today on the august translation of the Mother of God, and they call us the earthborn unto revelling, that we may cry out with voices never silent: Rejoice, thou who wast translated from earth, and hast changed thine abode for the heavenly mansions. Rejoice, thou who by a swift cloud didst gather the choir of the disciples into one. Rejoice, thou who art our hope and protection; for thee do we the race of Christians bless unceasingly.
Then the Entrance, O Gladsome Light, the Prokeimenon of the day, and the following Readings:
The Reading is from the Wisdom of Solomon (3:1-9)
The Reading is from the Wisdom of Solomon (5:15-6:3)
The Reading is from the Wisdom of Solomon (4:7-15)
For the entreaty. First Tone
WE, thy children, coming together, honor in hymns thy precious memory, worthy of praise. For thou shinest as a most brilliant star through thine august way of life. Τhou didst rebuke the falsehood of heresy and deception, for it is not the present age but the lack of willingness that separates us from Divine Grace. But as for thee, O most pious of Fathers, thou wast not stolen by sloth; wherefore, thou enjoyest the rewards of thy labors, and thou grantest the entreaties of those who call on thee in faith.
O MOST meek Father, who shall recount the warmth of thy zeal? Thou gavest thyself no rest in thy much suffering life, nor didst thou cease from weeping while pondering the day of judgement. Wherefore, all thy life past in quietude, full of compassion and love. But who can of speak of thine endurance? For thou didst bear the cross of suffering from pains and illnesses until the setting of thy life. Even still, our God-bearing Father, whilst enjoying the rewards of thy labors, remember us also who honor thy blessed dormition.
WHILST thou wast praying, O blessed one, and gazing while weeping at the shrine of the All-Pure, the Grace of the Spirit came upon thee as a ray and marvelously changed thee, granting the Grace of The Prayer according to thy longing. Therefore, throughout thy life, thou didst not cease praying, keeping vigil, and seeking solitude. Grant these to us also by thy prayers, having boldness before the Lord who enlightened thee, O Father, most compassionate.
WHEN, Father, thou wast struggling and afflicted by various temptations, thou didst fall before the Virgin, and thou didst gaze upon her with faith, and didst behold Her appearance brighter than the sun as far as thou couldst bear it; And thou didst hear her voice saying that she would be thy hope. Therefore, Father, beseech her to arrange care for us in the period of this difficult life and to free our souls from guilt on the day of judgement.
Glory. Plagal First tone
TODAY a festive and all joyous feast hath dawned! O Holy Mountain, exult and be glad! For Joseph, hymned by all, hath sprung from thy bosom as if an evergreen vine of immortality. The assembly of monks boasteth and the Church is glorified, being robed with the trophies of Her children. For the blessed one, truly aflame with fear of the Lord, gaveth not in to sloth, but he, having multiplied his talents by love of labor, was made worthy of the beloved voice, and with boldness he entered in with the Lord where there is the pure song of those who keep festival. And he now prayeth to the Lord on behalf of those who seek his aid toward salvation.
Both now. Postfeast. Same tone
SING unto the Mother of God, O ye people, sing ye; for today she committeth her soul, full of light, into the immaculate hands of Him that was incarnate of her without seed; and she intercedeth with Him unceasingly that He grant the world peace and great mercy.
For the Aposticha, the following stichera of the Saint:
First Tone. Thou art the joy
WITH all the saints thou abidest in dwellings radiant, * Our Godlyminded Father, as thou here didst desire. * Entreating God with longing, desire, and tears, * to thyself thou didst not give rest. * Nor to thy flesh whatsoever didst thou give rest, * not until thou didst depart this life.
Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
THOUGH thou wast taken from this life, yet thou shalt never cease * to send up supplications to the Lord and beseech Him * to save us from all dangers, and threats to our souls, * and bestow peace upon His church. * And that He quench all the scandals brought by the foe * which unceasingly do multiply.
Verse: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.
WE do entreat thy compassion and thy great providence * by which thou dost protect us with thy warm love, O Father, * that thou wouldst be always together with us, * thy disciples, O Hesychast, * in thy great glory which thou shalt receive from God * which thou hast prepared by struggling.
Glory. Second Tone
THE radiant feast of thy memory, O Father Joseph, robes the difficulty of our days. For, as a lamp shines in a dark place, so also does the recounting of thine achievements gladden the souls of those who love Christ, inspire the strength of strugglers, and raise the careless toward eagerness. Thereby, thy life has become a cause of salvation for all, to the glory of Christ our God, with Whom, we entreat thee, intercede that He grant forgiveness and great mercy to those who honor thee.
Both now. Postfeast. Same tone
THE all-blameless Bride, the mother of Him that is the Good Pleasure of the Father, she who was foreordained of God to be the habitation of His unmingled union, today committeth her immaculate soul unto her Maker and God. The incorporeal powers receive her in a God-befitting manner; and unto life is she translated who is truly the Mother of Life, the lamp of the unapproachable Light, the salvation of the faithful, and the hope of our souls.
Fourth Tone. Be quick to anticipate
THE offspring of Athos and the great adornment of monks, * a haven of quietude and the ascetical life hast thou now been shown to us. * Thou didst reveal the methods to find grace by example, * saving by prayer thy servants who with faith do entreat thee. * Our holiest Father Joseph, pray to the Lord for us.
Another. Same Tone
WHEN thou, by thy struggles, didst subdue the will of the flesh, * thou didst lift thy mind up above all the things of the earth, Saint Joseph the Hesychast. * Thou didst, in theoria, meet the souls of the saved ones, * guiding those who desire the blest path of salvation, * and saving those who now do honor thy memory.
After the First Reading from the Psalter, the following Sessional Hymn:
Third Tone. Awed by the beauty
THOU art enlightened by the Holy Spirit's rays * and thou hast slain, O Saint, the mindset of the flesh. * And thou hast freed thyself thereby, from slavery to the pleasures; * showing by thine actions love, * for both God and thy fellow man, * treating with compassion those who beseech the unceasingly. * And now thou dost rejoice with the righteous, * reaping the fruit of all thy labors.
Glory. Repeat the same
Both now. Postfeast. Same Tone
THOU didst conceive and bear without the seed of man; * and thou didst fall asleep, yet incorrupt in death, * as wonder met together with great wonder, O Theotokos: * How thou, who didst not know man, * being pure yet didst nurse a babe; * how the Mother of our God, * clothed in death, yet doth breathe forth myrrh. * For this, we cry to thee with the Angel: * Rejoice, O Full of Grace.
After the Second Reading from the Psalter, the following Sessional Hymn:
Plagal Fourth Tone. By conceiving the wisdom
A COMPASSIONATE, humble, and merciful, * non-possessive and continent hesychast, * O Joseph, All-blessed One, * thou art shown by thy holy life, * for thou wholly didst distance thy mind from all earthly cares, * and thine entire being to The Prayer didst thou dedicate. * Wherefore, thou didst not fail in thine aim, O our Father. * And now dost thou reap the sheaves * which thou didst sow by suffering * in the sorrows of thy life here. * Intercede with Christ our God * that forgiveness of their transgressions be * granted to them that with longing * keep thy holy memory.
Glory. Repeat the same
Both now. Postfeast. Same Tone
AS the Mother of Life and the Queen of all, * thou hast passed to the life immaterial; * for thou, who hadst seedlessly * once conceived God and brought Him forth * in the flesh without suff'ring corruption, hadst been arrayed * with the new incorruption be- stowed by the Spirit's grace. * Wherefore, as is meet, thou hast been truly revealed as * the bright cloud that raineth down * the divine waters of our life, * blameless Virgin and Mother of God. * Entreat thy Son and God that He grant * the forgiveness of their failings unto all * that laud thy godly Dormition, * worshipping it faithfully.
After the Polyeleos, the following Sessional Hymn:
Fourth Tone. Joseph was amazed
THOU didst subjugate to God * all of thy heart and all thy strength. * And thou likewise didst subdue * passions and demons as one wise, * by the assistance which God had bestowed upon thee. * While mourning, thou didst live * in greatest quietude, * making pure thy mind, * by the bright Spirit’s rays, * and thou, enlightened by the Spirit * didst see the Saints’ abode on high. * By thine entreaties do make us worthy * to abide there, O Joseph.
Glory. Repeat the same
Both now. Theotokion. Same Tone
ALL my passions ambush me, * so that they might entice my mind. * And by habit I return * to all my evil works and deeds * which, woe is me, from my youth I have always committed. * Therefore, now have I fled * unto thy loving care. * Save, O thou Most-Pure, * now me the hapless one. * For by thy boldness as a mother, * thou canst do all things, my Lady. * O Virgin thou to whom I give glory, * art our cause of salvation.
Then, for the Hymns of Ascent, the First Antiphon in Fourth Tone.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Tone
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
Verse: What shall we render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto us?
Then Let every breath and the Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke, At that time, Jesus stood in a plain... (Luke 6:17-23). And straightway the Fiftieth Psalm.
Glory. Second Tone
THROUGH the intercessions of Thy venerable one, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of my transgressions.
Both Now. Same Tone
THROUGH the intercessions of the Theotokos, O Merciful One, blot out the multitude of my transgressions.
Verse: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression.
Plagal of Second Tone
O RIGHTEOUS Father Joseph, hymned by all, we, thy children, having gathered together, honor the august day of thy dormition, and we faithfully hymn the Lord who glorified thee.
We say the first Canon of the Feast and the following of the Saint. Before the Troparia, we say, O our Venerable Father Joseph, Pray to God for us for the canon of Saint Joseph.
THE FIRST CANON
A composition of Joseph of Vatodpedi
Plagal of Fourth Tone
THE charioteer of Pharoah was sunk in olden times by Moses’ rod, * which wrought a mighty wonder * when, in the cross’s form, it struck the sea, dividing it in twain; * and it led into safety sojourning Israel that fled on foot, * chanting to the Lord God a song of praise.
DO thou my spirit now enlighten, Father, by thy holy prayers to God * and set loose my lowly * and most barren tongue from bonds. That I might be enabled * thus to sing praises with boldness to thine all honorable * memory and thy feats of virtue, O Hesychast.
THE Grace Divine of the Most High attracted thee even from early age * snatching thee from vain things * toward itself entirely and teaching thee to eagerly * come and dwell on Mount Athos and to take up the monastic life, * Holy Father Joseph the Hesychast.
THOU didst consider, Holy Father, transient the fleeting present life * while immersed in mourning * never being dragged away by vanities and cares of life. * But directing thy gaze toward the dwelling places of all the Saints * by the Spirit’s light-shining radiant.
THOU hadst a longing to take up thy cross upon thy shoulders, Holy Saint, * and to follow after Christ * who had called unto thee. For thou wast filled with sacred zeal * and thou never didst turn back by thy free will to the things behind * and becamest fit for the Lord thereby.
THY way of life is truly good and beautiful, thy deeds compassionate, * simple is thy mindset * and thy manner honorable while full of love entirely. * As for eagerness—zealous, and in thy heart full of purity, * Holy Father Joseph, all-blessed one.
DO thou now purify my mouth, and tongue, and heart, and cleanse the gloom of my mind. * That I might be able * to sing praises worthily, and hymn the wondrous miracles, * and the marvels, our Lady, which God hath wrought unto thee alone, * He who was well pleased to be born of Thee.
THE SECOND CANON
A composition of Joseph of Vatopedi.
Fourth Tone. Heirmos
MY mouth shall I open now, that it be filled with the Spirit’s Grace. And I shall cry out a hymn unto the Mother and Queen, and I shall be seen, one festively rejoicing, and singing delightfully all of her miracles.
SAINT Joseph the Hesychast, how shall I write thee a fitting hymn, Deprived of enlightenment of mind and lacking in words? Yet, that worthily I might hymn thy dormition, I ask of thee grant to me, by thy most holy prayers.
THOU hast walked, O righteous one, within the fathers’ admonishments. Forsaking the present world, once having taken the cross of the Lord with zeal and longing on thy shoulders, and following after his footsteps, O Hesychast.
THOU wisely didst separate from the confusion of worldly cares, whilst living in wandering, and seeking only the jewel which thou didst conceal within thy heart, most deeply enjoying it unceasingly, thou who art blest by God.
LET all of us honor her who hath alone given birth to Him who is consubstantial to the Father, though She remained incorruptible and hath remained a Virgin, after giving birth to God honoring all mankind.
IN the beginning thou didst found * all of the heavens with greatness * and establish on the waters the dry land. * Therefore strengthen me, O Christ, * upon the rock of Thy commands, * for there is no one holy * save Thee, O Thou only friend of man.
HAVING received within thy soul * the rays of light immaterial, * thou becamest one entirely shining. * And thou hast destroyed, by grace, * the power of the evil one. * And crowned as one victorious * with all the saints, thou abidest now.
THAT has been wounded in thy soul * by the sweet love of thy Master, * after whom thou didst most faithfully follow. * And while meditating on * His heights, thou didst achieve to them. * And now, thou art enjoying * the payment for all thy struggling.
ONCE having pondered in thy mind * the evil rage of the foe and * instability of things which are fleeting, * thou didst pass throughout thy life * in mourning and by shedding tears. * Now receiving comfort * with all the righteous, O all-hymned One.
ASSAULTS of demons by thy prayer, * and by persistence in vigil, * thou repelest from thyself, Father, chanting * hymns of victory to Christ * who freed the from calamity, * from passions, and deception, * and granted to thee thy victory.
IN fastings, vigils, and in prayer, * thou didst persist, O our Father, * whilst in solitude conversing, with Christ God, * Who, be holding all thy sweat, * did grant thy longings unto thee, * sending bread from heaven * through a most radiant angels hand.
AN intercessor before Christ, * be Thou for us, Theotokos, * that He save us from our sins in the hour * of the fearsome judgment day. * And grant to us, the worthless ones, * with boldness as His Mother * that we might stand on His right-hand side.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
ESTABLISH thy servants, Theotokos, who art an abundant living spring, for we have formed a spiritual assembly and sing hymns to Thee. And grant that we might worthily in Thy Divine Glory find great crowns.
THOU art a most apt and faithful steward, dividing most justly, as one wise, the love and longings of thy heart while giving God the greater part, and to the flesh the lesser part as one both wise and of the soundest mind.
WHILE gazing upon our Lady’s temple with longing, beseeching her in tears, she hearkened to thy fervent prayer and made thee worthy, Holy Saint, to be illumined, granting thee the greatest gift of unceasing prayer.
WHEN strengthening us, thine own disciples, thou taughtest that praxis is the base which bringeth theoria’s heights, while doubtlessly confirming this and teaching by thy scrupulous and most ascetical way of life.
THREE children beheldest thou, one evening, who, chanting as many as who have been baptized into Christ our God, did represent the Trinity, while keeping vigil, blessed one, alone in prayer on Theophany.
O THOU who hast born the sea of mercy, do grant mercy also unto us, thy monks, who suffer grievances unjustly and from every side and, by thy love, be quick to hear and rescue us from our wrongdoers.
Fourth Tone. Joseph was amazed
BY the rivers of thy tears * didst thou defend thyself against * both the passions’ fierce assaults * and all the evil one’s attacks * which he had plotted against thee whilst thou didst struggle. * And with most fearsome sounds * did he then trouble thee * trying to cause fright * by his appearances. * But he did not manage to scare thee, * O protected, armorclad Father, * for by The Prayer and by thy divine faith, * like smoke was he vanquished.
Glory. Repeat the same
Both now. Postfeast. Same Tone
O ALL-HOLY and all-hymned * and spotless Mother of our God, * in obedience to the will * of Him that had been born of thee, * the Angels' hosts gathered all the band of disciples, * that they in truth should see * thy blest translation hence, * O all- blessed Maid; * and thereupon, the hosts * bare up thy venerable body * with boundless gladness to Paradise, *while praising Christ God, the Life-bestower, *Who existeth for ever.
THOU art my strength; * Thou art my power and might, O Lord; * Thou art my God; * Thou Who wast not absent from Thy Father’s arms, * Thou, Lord, art my joy. * Thou hast deigned to visit our lowliness and our poverty. * To Thee, therefore, I cry out * with Habbakuk, the prophet: * glory be to Thy power, O Friend of man.
WITH all thy haste, * the Lord’s Commandments hast thou observed, * Holy Father, * even from the youngest age. And thou didst bear * up thy heavy cross, * following the footsteps of Him Who for us was crucified. * While battling and fasting, * the passions didst thou conquer, * being empowered by God’s Grace, O Hesychast.
FATHER Divine, * for love of Christ and on His behalf, * thou didst seek for * all of the most painful things, * and to be ridiculed by all men, * and, therefore, they saw thee as one deluded. While mocking thee, * but thou, whilst walking wisely, * enduring their temptations * didst not fail whatsoever to reach thy goal.
BEARING in script * the Lord‘s Commandments within thyself, * Holy Father, * sighing in thy sufferings, * thou gavest over thyself to prayer, * occupying thyself thus in desert places while hid from men. * Therefore, thy Lord and Master * among the Saints hath ranked thee, * granting thee most abundant and rich rewards.
I HAVE with zeal * committed works of iniquity, * have brought shame * to my noble lineage, * and being stripped of my costly robe, * woe is me! I have now departed far to a foreign land. * From these things, who shall save me besides thee, O our Lady, * Who alone art of the refuge of sinful ones.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
WHEN the Prophet Habakkuk came to behold thy divine, unsearchable, holy will of the most highest - from a Virgin to take flesh - while sore amazed he cried aloud: Glory to thy power O Lord, my God!
LIGHT, which madeth dwelling in thy holy soul, tooketh thee up to Theoria’s heights, and thou beheldest all the heavenly abodes where all the righteous choirs live, joyously exulting eternally. ROM thy youngest age thou didst set for the mount of the Holy Virgin, O Saintly one, and thou hast chosen life of solitude with God, to always dwell in quietude, fearing not the jests of the ignorant.
JEALOUS of thy virtues and longing divine, man’s most evil foe hath assaulted thee as if a lion, seeking ways to frighten thee, yet in no way did he succeed, holy Father Joseph, all-blessed one.
THOU, O Full of Grace, hast made free all mankind from the former curse to which we were bound, for birth thou gavest to the Strength of the Most High by manner inexplicable and becamest Mother of God thereby.
WHEREFORE hast thou deprived me * and cast me, the hapless one, far from Thy countenance * and the outer darkness has enshrouded and cast its gloom over me. * Yet, now, I beseech Thee: * do Thou convert me and direct me * to the light of Thy precepts, O Lord my God.
HAVING followed, O Joseph, * after the wise sayings, instructions, and words Divine * of the Holy Fathers, thou didst keep undiminished thy godly zeal. * Therefore, thou didst harvest * the fruits most worthy of thy labors, * incorruptible Gifts of the Comforter.
THOU didst pass through thy whole life, * Holy Father Joseph, in vigilant watchfulness. * And thou hadst a pure heart, full of love and compassion and sympathy. * Having loved thy neighbor * and Thy God with a love, most fervent, * thou didst pass through thy lifetime most piously.
THOU didst imitate, Father, * Joseph, the all-comely's example of chastity * in the raging battle with the demon of flesh, not surrendering * and when thou hadst conquered * in the end, he made an appearance * in the form of a hideous, wretched swine.
I AM filthy with passions, * and am held fast, being accustomed to every sin, * living as one wretched as I walk in enslavement to evil things. * Rescuer of captives, * and Salvation of us sinners, * Theotokos, O Virgin, give aid to me.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
THE earth was astonished by thy glory which was most divine, Virgin. For thou never hast known wedlock, yet in thy womb didst enshroud the God of all things and borest a son who made the time, Him Who granteth unto those who extol thee salvations gift.
FROM pain do thou rescue me, for gravely it oppresseth me. Quench the evil schemes of those who wrong me. From those who battle me do thou rescue me, while having the Virgin and Most-Pure as one who doth hearken to thine entreaties, O saintly one.
WHEN thou wast ascending up the mountain with thy heavy load, strength was given to thee, holy Father. For thine endurance and faith, did God send help and aid as the giver of good things, hastening to lighten it and reward thee for struggling.
FORSAKING the broader gate, the straight and narrow chosest thou. Vaster and more spacious thou becamest by theoria and by divine ascents, while truly beholding things divine thou didst, even in this life, reach the heavenly dwelling place.
DO take, O All-Spotless one, my hand, which is stretched out to thee, guiding me on straight and narrow pathways, granting me aid to become most God-pleasing, that gratefully I might sing thee hymns, O thou Ever-Blessed one, Theotokos, the queen of all.
DO thou have pity on me * for many are mine iniquities. * And raise me up from the depth * of evils I beg of Thee. * For I have called out to Thee, God of my salvation * and my Savior, hearken unto me.
O SAINT, thy deeds are divine. * Thy way of living is beautiful * and holy is thy repose, * for it was a witness to * thy love and affection for the All–blameless Virgin, * on Whose day did she receive thy soul.
FATHER, to thee I cry, * and I delight in thy holy love. * And on thy fatherly care, * I joyously meditate, * believing that thou shall be in my judgment hour * as a mediator unto God.
WHILE dwelling upon the peak * of Athos in constant vigilance * and fasting, thou didst entreat * the purest All-blameless One, * Who, as if, symbolically gavest thee three apples * out of paradise, O Hesychast.
THREE children didst thou behold * Who, representing the Trinity, * in radiant robes of white * were singing angelically * in thy vigil, Blessed One, while alone completely * and delighting in the love of God.
THE demons make war with me * with all their might while pursuing me. * Devising amongst themselves * their lawless iniquities. * O Thou, who hast shattered them by Thy reverent Offspring, * do Thou save me from their evil hands.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
DIVINE is the reverent festival of God’s Most Holy Mother and Birthgiver. O ye of Godly mind, hence let us come, therefore, clap our hands, while glorifying Christ God who hath been born of her.
WHILE chanting, father, and standing on Mount Athos’s divine and most sacred peak, praying within the shrine, God’s mother, by her great providences, did grant to thee three apples from out of paradise.
WHILE walking well by thy rule of prayer, enclosed within thy cell, and entreating God, thou wast made worthy to receive His body and holy blood, O father, from an angel who came to minister.
IN visions, Father, thou formerly beheldest the great glory of righteous ones. Now, having joined their ranks, thou dost exult in their company and reapest the rewards for thy labors, blessed one.
AS ones encompassed by perils round and by the foe’s most evil and fierce assaults, refuge we take in thee. Do show us worthy to dwell within thy holy monastery, O thou All-Blameless one!
Plagal of Fourth Tone. To Thee, the Champion Leader
BY all the rivers of thy tears didst thou wash clean from stain * The sacred garment of thy soul and thou didst brighten it * By thy vigilant entreaties, our Father Joseph. * And the bridal chamber didst thou enter joyfully * With the saints whose holy lives wast thou following. * With whom pray to God that He save those who honor thee.
COME, let us honor him who has appeared to be the offspring of Athos and the boast of monks who has shown forth in these latter days, in which faithlessness and negligence abound, yet in no way succumbed to delusion or sloth. Let us, therefore, imitate his zeal and God-loving fervor, for having loved God with his whole being, he cleaved to Him alone throughout his life. Yet, our most compassionate Father Joseph, we beseech thee, together with the choir of the ascetics with whom thou dost rejoice, pray to God that He save those who honor thee.
✠ On this day, the sixteenth of this month, we celebrate the memory of our Venerable and God-bearing Father Joseph, the student of hesychasm throughout his life with martyrical endurance, till he departed to the Lord on August 15th. His feast is translated to this day due to the Feast of the Theotokos.
Thou dost hasten from the earth to the vault of heaven,
In which thou wast previously, through theoria.
By the intercessions of Thy Saints, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.
THE three Hebrew children in the furnace * trampled on the flames with courage and great boldness; * they turned fire to dew, * and cried out with a great voice: * Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God * unto ages of ages!
CLEANSING the stain of all the passions * by thy prayers, and by weeping for thy whole life, * in theoria of nous, * thou sawest, Holy Father, * the dwellings which the Lord hath made * and hath promised to the saved ones.
WHILE being in solitude with Christ God, * thou besoughtest that He grant thee His Divine Grace. * And He gaveth to thee * the gift which thou hadst longed for, * as if an immaterial ray * shining onto thee, our Father.
NEVER submitting to the pleasures, * nor to sin, nor to the enemy’s deception, * thou didst follow the Will of Christ, thy God and Master, * and singing, didst thou cry aloud, * O our God, Thou art most blessed.
THE Sun didst thou cause to dawn, O Maiden * who hath shined on us, His world, by His Divine Rays. * Wherefore, guide to the light * the darkness of me also, * O Thou Who art a brilliant dawn * and the hope of all the hopeless.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
YOUTHS of Godly mind would give no worship to creation rather than to God. Yet bravely trampling on the threat of the fire’s flames, chanting, they did rejoice: Greatly hymned by all art Thou, O Lord, our Fathers’ God, and forever Art most blessed!
ONE unchangeable by mockery didst thou remain by thine enduring zeal within the shelter and care of God’s Most Pure Mother, while joyously hymning her: Blessed is the fruit of thy chaste womb, o Purest One, thou who never hast known wedlock.
HAVING made thy heart a dwelling of The Trinity, thou didst behold three forms who were all alike the day of Theophany, who, while blessing thee, sweetly did they chant the hymn of baptism and divine illumination.
FROM the burden of my great transgressions and my sins have I grown weak and ill. Therefore, from these, set me free most quickly, O Hesychast, and grant that I might chant: Thou alone art God who art most greatly hymned by all and the Lord of all our fathers.
HAVING rescued me by giving birth to God the Word, thou who art Full of Grace, do by thy mighty right hand, O pure one, entreat thy son that He might guide my mind toward repentant deeds, for I am sorely tangled in all of life’s most vain distractions.
STOKING the furnace sevenfold * for the God-fearing, pious youths, * did the Chaldees’ tyrant furiously increase its heat. * Yet, when he beheld these ones, by greater power girded about, * did he cry aloud unto the Saving Creator: * O bless Him all, ye children; * sing, ye priests, to Him praises; * exalt Him, all ye peoples, * forever to the ages!
HAVING a heart most passionate * and defiled, I ask of thee: * by thine intercessions, make me clean, O blessed one. * Warm longing do grant my soul that it might thirst for heavenly things, * and that I forget all of mine ancient transgressions. * That, rather, I might ponder * and work deeds of repentance, * those worthy of salvation, * beseech by thy Divine prayer.
THY most persistent struggling * and the strength of thy firm resolve * thwarted the attacks of evil demons fighting thee. * For thou didst not bend thy knee to be in fetters, bound, like a slave, * by the various traps which were prepared by the devil, * by which into Gehenna * he doth send all the slothful, * depriving of salvation * and parting them from their Lord.
HAVING acquired by thy haste * a pure mind, free from every thought, * praying to the Master, thou didst stand in vigilance. * He hath, therefore, granted thee theology of knowledge of God, * to Whom thou shalt never cease to sing with the faithful. * Do bless Him, all ye children! * Sing, ye priests, to Him praises! * Exalt Him, all ye peoples, * forever to the ages!
THOU who alone dost save us all, * heal Thy slothful and worthless slave * by Thine intercessions, as a Mother to thy Son. * The tempest do pacify of all of my temptations and thoughts. * Do Thou tear the scrolls of my transgressions asunder, * and snatch me from Gehenna * in the hour of judgment, * and from the outer darkness * thy worthless, wretched servant.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
CHILDREN, those most pious, in the furnace were saved by the holy offspring of God’s Birth-giver, Who was represented then and has now been born of her. And He doth gather all together that they might cry out: Do bless the Lord, ye works, and sing praises, and do ye exalt Him forever to the ages!
FATHER, do receive the supplication and praises and hymns of us who wish to honor thee, offered up with longing hearts from all of thy children, both those of past and present times. And grant us, in return, to hear thy words and fatherly counsels, granting us salvation by means of thine entreaties.
CARRYING most bravely on thy shoulders the cross of the Lord our God, while being tempted by those who did not know thy life, nor that it was God-pleasing, as a reward, thou didst receive much grace from her who is Protectress of the Mount and its mother, whose divine appearance thou many times beheldest.
REAPING from the fruits of all thy labors which thou didst, in tears and weeping, sow throughout thy life, now thou dost exult in joy harvesting thy sheaves of wheat. Yet, do remember those who keep with faith thy memory, and rescue them from evil, misfortune, and from raging demons who ceaselessly attack them.
PROPHETS did proclaim thee, holy Virgin, a mountain from which a stone was cut without man’s hand. For thou gavest birth to the word who is beginningless and who is called Emmanuel, to whom we cry aloud: Do bless the Lord, ye works, and sing praises, and do ye exalt Him forever to the ages!
THE heavens were astonished and stood in awe, * and the ends of the earth, Maid, were sore amazed, for God appeared * bodily to mankind as very man. * And, lo, Thy womb hath proved to be, * vaster and more spacious than heaven’s heights. * For this, O Theotokos, * the choirs and assemblies * of men and angels magnify Thy name.
IN hymns do I revere thee and do I sing * and I honor and reverence thy memory, the most August, * after having pondered upon thy love * for which did I embitter thee. * Therefore, have compassion on me, I ask, * and grant to me forgiveness, * and save me by thy strong prayers, * as that hadst promised me forevermore.
THE Virgin’s reverent Mountain doth boast in thee, * and it crieth out, joyfully, in delight. For now, behold, * an all-brilliant star hath it dawned on us * in these, the present, latter days, * quenching all the strength of the godless ones, * and showing that our Savior * endureth to the ages, * rewarding those who have their faith in Him.
TO thee, the gate of heaven hath opened wide * and the glory which previously thou hast seen, thou dost enjoy * with all of the choirs of the Elite, * with whom do thou remember us, * those who keep thine hon’rable memory * with longing and desire, * and rescue us from various * assaults of enemies and tragedy.
DO Thou now, by Thy light, shine upon my mind * and make free from my passionate reasonings and evil deeds, * both my soul and body, and make them clean. * And grant me warmth of willingness * that I might work virtues and holy deeds, * O Virgin Theotokos. * That, saved, I might then hymn Thee, * Who art the cause and hope that I be saved.
The Second Canon. Heirmos
LET all earth-born ones exult in the spirit and with joy take up their lamps. As for immaterial ones, let them in gladness keep the feast while honoring the sacred, wondrous miracles of the true mother of God as they cry out: Hail, O thou All-Blessed one, Theotokos, O virgin forevermore!
RAYS of grace did snatch thy mind up above the Earth to the noetic heights. Therefore, thou beheldest there the immaterial beings. Let them in gladness keep feast while honoring the sacred, wondrous miracles of the true Mother of God as they cry out: Hail, O thou All-Blessed one, Theotokos, O virgin forevermore!
GOD enabled thee to hold up thy mind aloft and free from wandering whilst thou keptest vigilance, to also burn up the passions of the flesh, to burn the deadly demons and escape their evil snares, and the Fathers’ trophies hast thou raised. Therefore, do not forget those who honor thee.
MOUNTAINS and the caves became for thee heavenly and, therefore, worthily thou art called the Cave-dweller, for having seized hold of utmost poverty by means of thy great floods of tears and by the rivers of thy compunction, thou didst water all thy plants, thine own children, whom, laboring, thou hadst sown.
THOU didst walk with faith the path of humility (once having found it short), following with greatest care the lives of saints with great zeal and all thy strength, and having written of their lives and holy sufferings, thou enjoyest thy rewards in Paradise, granting blessings on us who sing hymns to thee.
REACHING the divine and heavenly bright abodes, glory receivest thou which shall never end or cease. O thou who hast been made, by thy holiest participations, god by grace, remember all of us, those who honor faithfully thy sacred end, holy Father Saint Joseph, all-blessed one.
DO thou, O Most Pure, enlighten thy servants who, with longing, sing thee hymns, magnify’ng thee, holy Maid. Bestill the storm and dispel our passions’ gloom. The scandals of the evil one, do thou remove afar, driving far off every thought of heresy from thy servants by thy sacred prayers to God.
Second Tone. Upon that mount in Galilee
WITH joy, we keep thy memory, * O holy Father Joseph, * and faithfully we gaze upon * thy most reverent icon, * beseeching thee as thy children * to become a protector, * defending us until the end * of our life as thou promised. * That God we please, * by our life and that we might be found worthy * to stand upon his right-hand side * with the choirs of the saved ones.
Third Tone. Thou Who as God adornest
WHILE thou art walking, Saint Joseph, * among the pastures of the Lord * with all the ranks of the angles * and the choirs of the saints * pray to the Trinity for us * who honor thee, Holy Father.
For the Aposticha of the Praises, the following stichera:
Fourth Tone. As one valiant.
THOU didst comfort all-lovingly * thy disciples, O Hesychast, * patiently enduring their errors and mistakes, * and giving fatherly counseling. Thou didst then instill the fear * of the Lord within their mind, * always guiding their reasoning by thy counseling * towards desire of things divine and God’s love, * by the wisdom of thy teachings * always in prayer keeping vigilance.
THOU didst not give sleep to thine eyes * whatsoever, O Holy one, * nor didst thou give rest to thyself, O Hesychast, * but rather watching in vigilance, in poverty most extreme, * didst thou wither by thy life, * not desiring visitors, those who would distract * both thy mind and thy heart from meditation * of the fearsome day of judgement * and of the Lord God’s remembrance.
THY compunction, unceasing prayer, * and thy love for both God and man * did attract Divine Grace to come into thy heart, * our Father Joseph the Hesychast. Wherin as it did abide * raising up thy mind on high * toward the greater and lasting things. * It became for thee a great comfort and recourse of protection * which in many ways would help thee * against all enemies fighting thee.
THOU didst wither in continence * in the deserts whilst wandering, * keeping silence constantly while immersed in prayer, * ignoring all the contempt of men and taking no heed thereof, * nor considering, O Saint, what they judgingly spoke of thee. * Wherefore countless ones * even called thee “deluded one” * not knowing of thy godly way of living, * nor of the secrets within thy heart.
Glory. Plagal of Second Tone
THE assemblies of ascetics perceived thy spirit, our Father Joseph, and thou didst delight the orders of monks by thine august way of life, having become precious to God. For walking in His fear, easily didst thou stand apart from everything that defileth the mind. And feasting on solitude, thou didst taste of the fruits of the Spirit. Caught up in theoria, thou didst experience the courts of the Lord, where there are many abodes, and the assemblies of the saved rejoice. And now, while enjoying these things, remember us also by thy prayers, as one having boldness, O most meek Father.
Both now. Postfeast. Same Tone
AT thy deathless Dormition, O Theotokos, Mother of Life, clouds caught the Apostles high into the air; and although dispersed throughout the world, they were brought to stand in one choir before thine immaculate body. As they reverently gave thee burial, they sang the greeting of Gabriel, crying out: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, thou unwedded Virgin Mother, the Lord is with thee. Together with them, entreat Him as thy Son and our God that our souls be saved.
The Great Doxology, and the remainder of Orthros,
and the brethren are anointed with Holy Oil.
THE DIVINE LITURGY
The Typica, and for the Beatitudes, hymns from the first, third, and sixth Odes of the Canon in the following manner: Four from the first ode of the festal canon, repeating the heirmos twice, then two more troparia; four from the third ode of the first canon of the saint; then four from the sixth ode of the second canon of the saint.
The Prokeimenon of the Epistle. Grave Tone
Thy saints shall exult in glory, and they shall sing for joy on their couches!
Verse: Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise in the assembly of His Holy Ones!
The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Galatians (5:22-6:2)
Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ...
Alleluia. Plagal of Second Tone
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; In His commandments shall he greatly delight!
Verse: His righteousness abideth unto ages of ages; his horn shall be exalted with glory.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew (11:27-30)
The Lord said unto His disciples, All things are
delivered unto Me of My Father ...
O glory of Athos do thou rejoice, * thou who art an owner of the grace of Saint Palamas. * Shine on all, Saint Joseph, by uncreated power, * O leader and acquaintance * of perfect hesychasts.
The Communion Hymn
The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance,
he shall not fear evil tidings. Alleluia.