Fr. Gregory 40th Day
Kontakia after Canticle VI
The Collect-Hymn (Kondak). Tone VIII
Give rest with the Saints. O Christ, to the soul of thy servant, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.
Thou only art immortal, who hast created and fashioned man. For out of the earth were we mortals made, and unto the earth shall we return again, as thou didst command when thou madest me, saying unto me: For earth thou art, and unto the earth shalt thou return. Whither, also, we mortals wend our way, making of our funeral dirge the song: Alleluia.
In thought I implore ye, hearken unto me: For with difficulty do l announce these things. For your sake: have I made moan; perchance it may proﬁt one of you. But when ye shall sing these things make mention, now and then, of me whom ye have known. For often have walked together, and together in the house of God have sung: Alleluia.
Rise now, all ye, and make ready, and when ye are set, hearken ye unto the word. Terrible, my brethren, is the Judgment Seat before which all we must appear. There is neither bondman nor freeman there; there is neither small not great; but we shall all stand naked there. Wherefore, it is good to sing together the psalm: Alleluia.
Let us all be consumed with tears, when we behold the earthly remains lying low: and when we shall all draw near to kiss, and peradventure to utter such things as these: Lo! thou hast abandoned us who love thee. Why speakest thou no more with us, O friend? Why speakest thou not, as thou wert wont to speak, but holdest thus thy peace who before with us didst say : Alleluia.
Why these bitter words of the dying, O brethren, which they utter as they go hence? I am banished, brethren. All my friends do I abandon, and go hence. But whither I go, that understand I not, neither what shall become of me yonder; but only God, who hath summoned me knoweth. But make commemoration of me with the song: Alleluia.
But whither now go the souls? How dwell they now together there? This mystery have I desired to learn. but none can impart aright. Do they call to mind their own people. as we do them? Or have they already forgotten those who mourn them and make the song: Alleluia?
Accompany ye the dead, O friends, and come ye to the grave with heed, and there gaze ye steadfastly, with understanding; and make ready your feet. All youth is fallen to dissolution there; there all the ﬂower of life is faded; there are dust, and ashes. and worms; there all is silent; and there no man saith : Alleluia.
Lo! now behold we him who lieth here, but ne'er shall lie before us more. Lo! already is his tongue stilled, and lo! his mouth hath cased to speak. Fare ye well, O my friends. my children. Fare ye well, O my brethren! Fare ye well, O my comrades; for I go forth upon my way. But make commemoration of me with the song: Alleluia.
None of the dwellers yonder have returned to life to tell us how there they fare, our erstwhile brethren and our offspring gone before us to the Lord. Wherefore, again and oft we say: Shall we see each other there? Shall we see on brethren there? Shall we there again together say the psalrm: Alleluia?
We go forth on the path eternal, and as condemned, with downcast faces, present ourselves before the only God. Where then is comeliness? Where then is wealth? Where then is the glory of this world? There shall none of these things aid us, but only to say oft the psalrn: Alleluia.
Why dost thou untimely vex thyself, O man! Yet one hour, and all things shall pass away. For in Hell there is no repentance, nor further remission there. There is the worm that sleepeth not; there is the land, all dark and gloomy, where I must be judged. For I made not haste to say the psalm: Alleluia.
Naught is so easily forgot as mortal from his brother-mortal parted. If for a brief space we call to mind, yet straightway forget we Death, as we had not ourselves to die. Parents, also, are utterly forgotten of their children, whom from their own bodies thy have borne and reared; and they have dropped tears with the song: Alleluia.
I remind ye, O my brethren, my children, and my friends: Forget me not, when unto the Lord heart this thing, and mourn for me night and day. As said Job unto his friends, so say l also unto you: Sit ye again and say: Alleluia.
Leaving all things behind us, forth we go, and naked and grieving must present ourselves to God. For like the grass doth beauty fade. and man is but allured therewith. Naked wast thou born, O wretched one, and naked there must every man appear. Dream not, O mortal, of sweetness in this life, but only groan ever with the moan: Alleluia.
If thou hast shown mercy unto man, O man, that same mercy shall be shown thee there; and if on an orphan thou hast shown compassion, the same shall there deliver thee from want. If in this life the naked thou hast clothed, the same shall give thee shelter there, and sing the psalm: Alleluia.
Toilsome the way in which I must go hence, the which, in truth, I never yet have trod; and unknown is that land, and thereof knoweth no one anywhere. Awesome is it to behold my guides: most terrible he who hath called me, the Ruler of life and death, who also calleth us, when he willeth, thither: Alleluia.
If journeying from a home-land we stand in need of guides, what shall we do when forth we fare to a land to us still all unknown? Many leaders wilt thou then require, many prayers to accompany thee, to save the wretched sinner's soul; until thou come to Christ and say to him: Alleluia .
They who are in thrall to the material passions shall ﬁnd no pardon whatsoever there. For there are the dread accusers; there, also, the books are opened. Where, then, around about thee wilt thou gaze, O man? And who then shall succour thee? Unless thou hast led an upright life, and hast done good to the needy, singing: Alleluia.
Youth and the beauty of the body fade at the hour of death,and the tongue then burneth ﬁercely, and the parched throat is inﬂamed. The beauty of the eyes is quenched then, the comeliness of the face all altered, the shapeliness of the neck destroyed ; and the other parts have become numb,nor often say: Alleluia.
Hush, then; be dumb. Henceforward keep ye silence before him who lieth there, and gaze upon the mighty mystery; for terrible is this hour. Be silent, that the soul may issue forth in peace. For it to a great ordeal is constrained, and in fear doth oft petition make to God: Alleluia
I have beheld a dying child, and I have mourned my life. He was all agitated, and trembled greatly when the hour was come, and cried. O father, help me! O mother, save me! And no one then could succour him. but only pined away as they gazed on him, and wept for him in the grave: Alleluia.
How many suddenly are snatched even from the plighting of their troth, and united by a bond eternal; and without avail have made their moan unending, and have not risen from that bridal chamber! But there was both marriage and the grave, both union and disunion, both laughter and weeping, and the psalm: Alleluia.
With ecstasy are we inﬂamed if we but hear that there is light eternal yonder; that there is the fountain of our life, and there delight eternal; that there is Paradise, wherein every soul of Righteous Ones rejoiceth. Let us all, also, enter into Christ, that all we may cry aloud thus unto
God : Alleluia.
Hymn to Birthigiver of God. O all-holy Virgin unwedded, who brought forth the Light Ineﬁable, I make petition never ceasing and beseech thee, and entreat thee: Implore thou the Lord perpetually for thy servant who hath fallen asleep, O most pure One; that he may ﬁnd there remission of his iniquities in the Day of judgment. O All-pure One. For thou, O lady, hast boldness ever to beseech thy Son: Alleluia.
Give rest with the Saints, O Christ, to the soul of thy servant, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow. nor sighing, but life everlasting.