Akathist to Saints Peter and Paul

Kontakion I

 

The Lord Who said of Himself: I am the good Shepherd, said unto thee, O first-enthroned Peter: If thou lovest Me, feed My sheep.  And He Who said: I am Jesus, said of thee, O preeminent Apostle Paul:  He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the gentiles.  And likewise to all your colleagues, His apostles, He said: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you; go ye, and teach all nations.  And ye, receiving such grace from your good Chief Shepherd, as the foremost shepherds and teachers of all the world, from all misfortunes preserve ye us on the pasture of salvation, that we may cry out to you:  Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Ikos I

 

Blessed art thou, Simon, son of Jonas! said Christ, the Son of the living God, unto thee, O right glorious Apostle Peter.  How then can we worthily call thee blessed who hast been called blessed by God Himself?  Yet drawn faithfully, by a debt of love alone, we cry out to thee thus:

Rejoice, first among the apostles, foundation of the holy Church;
Rejoice, mighty pillar and ground of the Orthodox Faith!
Rejoice, ardent lover of the teaching of Christ;
Rejoice, first-seated among the council of the apostles!
Rejoice, good gate-keeper of the kingdom of heaven;
Rejoice, renowned physician for them that repent of their sins!
Rejoice, thou who spurned the vanity of the world and loved the spiritual life;
Rejoice, thou who didst forsake corruptible nets and didst fish the whole world with incorruptible ones!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye both shone forth like two great beacons;
Rejoice, O ye who like a pair of steeds were harnessed by God to His chariot of noetic light!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, beholders of God, for ye are the light of all the world;
Rejoice, for through you the Faith which saveth us hath shone forth from Christ in every place!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion II

 

O teacher of the gentiles, who received thy title wondrously from on high, thou didst believe when Jesus said unto thee:  Saul, why persecutest thou Me Who cannot be touched by unbelief?  Yet believe thou henceforth; for, lo! contrary audacity darkeneth thee, but I have chosen thee to be a witness to My judgments before the rulers, the nations and the children of Israel.  And thou, O Apostle Paul, called such things by God, didst cry out: Alleluia!

 

Ikos II

 

Hearing a voice from heaven, O Saul, thou wast thereafter unable to see; for thou hadst adversely persecuted the Inaccessible One and didst receive blindness of thine eyes in return for thy zeal for the law; but, guided to the font, thou didst attain unto divine baptism, where, having been immersed with faith, the sight of thy bodily and spiritual eyes was restored.  Wherefore, mindful of thy miraculous calling, we cry out to thee:

Rejoice, O apostles called by God, sent forth to preach to all the nations;
Rejoice, chosen vessel which pourest forth the sweetness of the Faith of Christ upon all men!
Rejoice, beholder of the divine Light which illumineth from on high;
Rejoice, thou who more than others wast enlightened by grace after the shadow of the Old Covenant!
Rejoice, thou who on earth didst converse with the Lord Jesus Who appeared to thee;
Rejoice, thou who with His strength didst dare to denounce them that were adamant in their unbelief!
Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened the whole world with thy divinely wise writings;
Rejoice, thou who, following Christ, didst labor more than others for the salvation of man!
Rejoice with Paul, O Peter, for ye overshadow the holy Church as the two cherubim did the ark;
Rejoice, ye who stand before the throne of the Most High like two seraphim!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, for ye are like the heavens which proclaim the glory of God;
Rejoice, for ye are the stars which crown the Church, the Bride of Christ!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion III

 

Thou wast struck with horror, O holy Apostle Peter, beholding the sheet descending from on high, filled with all manner of living creatures, moreover with unclean beasts, wherein was set forth a parable of God's love for man, signifying that it is not fitting to reject them that from all the nations desire to believe in Christ Jesus.  And understanding this mystery, thou didst cry out to God: Alleluia!

 

Ikos III

 

Naught that is vile or unclean hath ever passed my lips! thou didst say, O most blessed Apostle Peter.  But divine Providence answered thee with a voice from heaven, saying:  What God hath cleansed, that do thou not revile, calling it unclean; for the Savior cameth not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance!  And we, knowing what was revealed to thee, cry out:

Rejoice, O apostle, who mercifully openest the kingdom of heaven;
Rejoice, thou who not only watchest over men, but over the affairs of all the nations!
Rejoice, thou who with thy love coverest the multitude of our sins;
Rejoice, thou who perfectest our meager repentance with thy mercy!
Rejoice, speedy helper for them that call upon thee amid spiritual tribulations;
Rejoice, thou who by thy supplication raisest up those dead of body and soul!
Rejoice, thou who strengthenest with the Holy Spirit the faithful who hearken unto thy word;
Rejoice, thou who woundest the unbelieving with thy words, as with darts!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, in that ye are as the two eyes of the Church, endued with divine sight;
Rejoice, ever-vigilant guides watching over the new Israel!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, for ye are as a guard upon the walls of Jerusalem;
Rejoice, O our instructors, who keep watch over the souls of Christians!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion IV

 

To the Jews living in Damascus didst thou begin to preach, O apostle Paul, enlightened of God, that they might believe in Christ Jesus the Son of God; and they were astonished at how one who before had persecuted them that believed in the name of Christ had - O, the wonder! - himself been transformed into a believer!  Wherefore, they took counsel together to slay thee; but knowing their intent and the hardness of their hearts, thou didst leave them in the blindness of their unbelief and, let down over the wall in a basket by the faithful, thou didst cry out to God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos IV

 

With great zeal, O holy Paul, thou didst preach to turn away from the prescriptions of the old law and circumcision and to make haste to the font of divine baptism, proclaiming this not only to the Jews, but also to the gentiles whose most loving teacher thou wast.  Wherefore, we exclaim unto thee thus:

Rejoice, preacher sent by God to announce repentance unto sinners;
Rejoice, teacher of piety with thunderous voice, denouncer of ungodliness!
Rejoice, merciful inviter of them among the gentiles that are astray, yet hasten to the Faith of Christ;
Rejoice, true guide to the straight path!
Rejoice, ship which keepest the faithful from drowning in sin;
Rejoice, helmsman who guidest us to the haven of the pleasing of God!
Rejoice, quickly interceding comforter of the sorrowful;
Rejoice, healer who acceptest no recompense for curing ailments of body and soul!
Rejoice with Paul, O Peter, for ye are like two wings furnished unto the Church by Christ, the great Eagle;
Rejoice, for ye are like two wings given to her, the dove, by the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, who are whole as doves and through hope have been furnished with wings like eagles;
Rejoice, for where Christ was in the body, there were ye gathered together!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion V

 

Sweating from thine earthly labors and providing for thyself by fishing, O holy Apostle Peter, thou wast called to be an apostle and didst believe in Christ Who nurtureth abundantly, Who fed a thousand people with five loaves; and thou didst follow Him, laboring for food which perisheth not, but abideth unto everlasting life; and thou didst cry out to Him as God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos V

 

Forbidden by the chief priests and elders of the Jews to teach the name of the Lord Jesus, O blessed Apostle Peter, arming thyself with steadfast faith, thou didst answer:  We ought to obey God rather than man!  And having endured imprisonment and stripes for this, thou didst depart from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of the Lord.  Wherefore, we also offer to thee exclamations of joy, saying:

Rejoice, thou who didst put the council of the Jews to shame by the writings of the prophets concerning Christ;
Rejoice, thou who didst rend asunder the false threats of the Pharisees and Sadducees like a spider's web!
Rejoice, thou who didst work many miracles through the grace of the Holy Spirit;
Rejoice, thou who grantest sight to the blind and the ability to walk to the lame!
Rejoice, thou who by thy shadow didst raise the sick from their beds of pain;
Rejoice, thou who didst heal them that suffered from many unclean spirits!
Rejoice, thou who summonest fishermen to a wondrous catch;
Rejoice, thou who drawest the unbelieving to faith as if they were voiceless fish!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye are like two breasts of the Church, the Bride of Christ, our Mother;
Rejoice, for ye are like two grapes of the voice, which nourish us and make us glad!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, for ye are branches of Christ, the true Vine;
Rejoice, for ye are good husbandmen of the vineyard of Christ!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion VI

 

An Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee according to the law, a persecutor of the Church of God in thy zeal, didst thou call thyself, O holy Apostle Paul, not hiding thy former hot temper against them that believed in Christ Jesus; but as thou didst greatly persecute the Church of God and didst strive to destroy it, so now, gloriously adorned by thee, and made steadfast in might by thy mellifluous teachings, it crieth unto God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos VI

 

Who shall separate us from the love of God?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or like things? thou didst say, O Apostle Paul, preacher of the Word beloved of God, bringing all to the love of Christ Who sincerely believe in Him, that with boldness and thanksgiving we may endure tribulation for God's sake.  Wherefore, we lovingly exclaim to thee these things:

Rejoice, thou who wast a zealot for the law named Saul;
Rejoice, lover of Christ, named Paul, perfected in grace!
Rejoice, light of divine knowledge, illumining them that are in the darkness of unbelief;
Rejoice, star guiding them that languish in the depths of iniquity!
Rejoice, thou who betrothest the souls of the faithful to Christ and summonest them to the heavenly bridal chamber;
Rejoice, thou who didst endure many tribulations and hast made others also steadfast to endure them!
Rejoice, thou into whose hands God placed mighty powers;
Rejoice, thou whose sweat-soaked kerchief healed the sick!
Rejoice with Paul, O Peter, for ye are like the two pillars which uphold the Church of the heavenly Solomon;
Rejoice, ye who, like two lilies on its pillars, adorn the sanctuary of God!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, for like flowers do ye impart fragrance to all the world;
Rejoice, ye who through your fragrance dispel the stench of all iniquity!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion VII

 

On thine arrival in Lydda, O blessed Apostle Peter, thou didst amaze the people living there when by the name of Jesus Christ thou didst raise up Æneas, who had lain abed, sick of the palsy, for eight years, and didst cause him to walk; in Joppa thou didst likewise, by thy supplication, return to life the dead Tabitha; and, summoned to Caesaria, thou didst enlighten with divine baptism Cornelius the centurion with all in his household.  Wherefore, we all straightway cry aloud to God in unity of soul:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos VII

 

Simon Magus thought to acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit with silver; but thou, O blessed Apostle Peter, didst condemn him to inherit damnation with his silver and didst sternly forbid both the avaricious practice of simony and the theft of sacred things.  Wherefore, we exclaim unto thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who enriched the Church of Christ with the grace of the Spirit;
Rejoice, thou who didst forbid the reception of recompense for holy things in the Church!
Rejoice, thou by whom avarice was cut off, as the root of all evils, through the grace of the Spirit;
Rejoice, thou by whom covetousness is cast away by sanctity as a type of idolatry!
Rejoice, thou who didst lead a hard life for the sake of Christ;
Rejoice, thou who didst fulfill well the commandment of Christ:  ye cannot serve God and Mammon!
Rejoice, thou who didst sternly punish the sacrilege of Ananias with death;
Rejoice, thou who didst likewise commit Sapphira, who was guilty of that sin, to the same punishment!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye are like two olive trees which pour forth mercy;
Rejoice, for ye are like two lamps radiating wisdom!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, as tender olive shoots;
Rejoice, for because of you is all like a fruitful olive tree in the house of God!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion VIII

 

Having attained unto the third heaven because of thy sanctity of body and soul and been enriched with ineffable benefactions, thou didst descend from thence, O divinely blessed Apostle Paul, and didst
astonish all, filling those of the Jews and of the gentiles who believed in Christ with thy teachings of the knowledge of God.  And together with them, all we, the faithful, who have a share of thine heavenly teaching, cry out to God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos VIII

 

A model for the faithful, thou didst joyfully endure many stripes, beatings and stonings of thy body for the sake of sweet Jesus, O Apostle Paul, called by God, manifestly indicating that it is the part of them that believe in Christ Jesus to undergo all manner of tribulations thankfully, for His sake.  Wherefore, we also cry out to thee, using such exclamations as these:

Rejoice, thou who didst joyfully bear the wounds of the Lord on thy body;
Rejoice, adamant firm of body and soul, who mightily endured all manner of tribulation!
Rejoice, insuperable confessor of Christ before the nations and their rulers;
Rejoice, teacher invincible in the face of the Israelite teachers of the law!
Rejoice, luminous star which shone forth from the third heaven;
Rejoice, greatly fruitful branch which buddest forth from paradise, full of spiritual food!
Rejoice, thou who by thy teaching hast illumined all the earth as with an unwaning light;
Rejoice, thou who hast fed the faithful throughout the world with the produce of thy works as with most comely fruits!
Rejoice with Paul, O Peter, for ye are as two trees in the midst of the garden of the Church;
Rejoice, ye who put forth the fruit of life and good understanding!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, who are like noetic palm trees and cedars;
Rejoice, ye who have been transplanted to heaven as the garden of the heavenly Father!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion IX

 

Thou wast possessed of an all-embracing concern for all who came to the Faith of Christ, O blessed Apostle Peter, that their heart and soul become one.  Wherefore, thou didst appoint for their needs a minister, the chaste Stephen, and six other deacons; and thou thyself, together with the rest of the apostles, didst dedicate thyself to prayer and the preaching of the Word, instructing all the faithful, who cried out with oneness of mind to God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos IX

 

Aflame with zeal for thy Lord, thou didst cut off the ear of Malchus, for he seemed to thee as one disinclined to heed the writings of the prophets concerning Jesus Christ. But, reproved for such audacity by thy Teacher, O blessed Apostle Peter, thou didst thankfully bear His reproach and all its contrary results.  Wherefore, mindful of thy zeal, we cry aloud to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst surpass the rest of the disciples in thy zeal for Christ;
Rejoice, manful sword-bearer of Christ in the garden!
Rejoice, thou who didst follow Christ, Who was being led to His suffering, even to the house of Caiaphas;
Rejoice, thou who wast prepared for prison and death for the sake of thy Lord!
Rejoice, thou who with bitter lamentation didst heal thy weakness in denying thy Master;
Rejoice, thou who after the Lord's resurrection wast summoned to thy former dignity!
Rejoice, thou who hast provided a model of repentance for the rest of us sinners;
Rejoice, thou who didst vow to forgive the weakness of the penitent many times over!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye are like the tables of the law of the Lord;
Rejoice, teachers of love for God and neighbor!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, who perfectly kept all the commandments of the Lord;
Rejoice, ye who left all and followed after Christ, and found all in Him!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion X

 

Great testimony didst thou produce from the sayings of the prophets concerning Christ in the face of the leaders of the Jews, and before the Procurator Festus and King Agrippa, O Apostle Paul, who wast called of God, and all were utterly set at naught; for many of the Jews quoted books to thee in their frenzy, and thou wast answered by both Festus and Agrippa falsely, and wast condemned to be sent to Rome.  But, enduring everything with thanksgiving, thou didst cry out with the faithful to God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos X

 

O Apostle Paul, who wast led to proclaim the life-creating Trinity in the third heaven, most elect vessel of the great mysteries of God:  declaring the good news before the gentiles, the judges and rulers, thou didst promise salvation unto them that desire to believe in Christ Jesus and receive holy baptism in the name of the Trinity.  Wherefore, all we the faithful, being of good hope concerning that salvation, cry out to thee thus:

Rejoice, mystagogue of great understanding of the revelation of the Lord;
Rejoice, confessor of the one God in three Persons!
Rejoice, thou who didst proclaim Christ to be the one Foundation of the faithful;
Rejoice, thou who hast made all the pious steadfast in that confession!
Rejoice, thou who didst endure raging reproaches from the unbelieving Festus;
Rejoice, thou who didst utter words of truth and chastity in his presence!
Rejoice, thou who didst most clearly recount thine heavenly vision to King Agrippa;
Rejoice, thou who didst manifestly denounce his error which is not consonant with the Faith of Christ!
Rejoice, O Paul, with Peter, for ye are like two silver trumpets of Moses;
Rejoice, ye who call those of earth and beneath the earth to battle against evil!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, who have suffered cruelly as valiant warriors of Christ;
Rejoice, ye who have vanquished the kingdoms of the earth by faith and have received heavenly things!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion XI

 

Having slain Iakovos, the brother of John, Herod went on to seize thee as well, O divinely blessed Apostle Peter; and he placed thee under heavy guard in prison to await execution.  Yet while fervent prayer was being offered up by the Church for thy deliverance, the angel of the Lord loosed thy bonds and led thee through the gates, which opened of themselves, and thou didst think that thou wast beholding a dream.  But when the angel departed, thou didst come to thy senses and didst truly realize that thou hadst been freed; and thou didst cry out to God in thanksgiving:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos XI

 

That which had been asked by Philip:  Lord, show us the Father! didst thou come to know, O blessed Apostle Peter, on Mount Tabor, whereon, beholding the all-glorious transformation of the countenance of the transfigured Lord, thou didst hear the voice of God the Father say of Him from heaven:  This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him!  And we cry out to thee who wast counted worthy of such a revelation:

Rejoice, reliable witness of the transfiguration of Christ;
Rejoice, renowned one who heard the divine voice of the Father from heaven!
Rejoice, thou who didst behold the countenance of the Son of God illumined like the sun;
Rejoice, thou who didst most splendidly receive the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit in the cloud!
Rejoice, thou to whom the most exalted mystery was disclosed upon the mountain;
Rejoice, thou to whom the majestic glory of the all-holy Trinity was made manifest!
Rejoice, thou who heardest that the departure of Christ was to take place in Jerusalem;
Rejoice, thou who, following Christ, didst accomplish thy departure on a cross in Rome!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye are two noetic mountains like Tabor and Hermon;
Rejoice, ye who from the east and the west revealed the promised land in heaven!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, like the mountains of Sion;
Rejoice, ye who let the sweetness of salvation fall upon us!
Rejoice, ye holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion XII

 

We hymn thee who standest on equal footing with the cherubim, O most blessed Apostle Paul, who wast enlightened by divine wisdom in the third heaven; for, hearing ineffable words there which it is not lawful for a man to utter, thou didst travel the whole world therewith, teaching all to believe in the crucified Christ, the Son of God, and to chant unceasingly unto Him as the true God:  Alleluia!

 

Ikos XII

 

Full of the great revelation of divine mysteries, O chosen vessel of Jesus, all-wise Apostle Paul, thou didst diligently bear forth the name of God Who hath appeared in the flesh and saveth them that believe in Him; and having converted many of the gentiles and fought the good fight, in the city of Rome thou didst finish thy course most gloriously for the name of thy Lord, and didst then receive therein a crown of righteousness.  Wherefore, we cry out to thee thus:

Rejoice, great lover of the name of Jesus, who suffered greatly for Him;
Rejoice, thou who bore witness before those of heaven, of earth and beneath the earth, concerning His name!
Rejoice, for thou didst bear witness well concerning the Lord in Jerusalem;
Rejoice, thou who thus wast commanded by Him to bear witness also in Rome!
Rejoice, thou who denounced the Emperor Nero and converted his consort to the Christian Faith;
Rejoice, thou who in the same Rome didst bow thine head beneath the sword, executed with Peter, who was crucified head downward!
Rejoice, for at the severing of thine honored head milk flowed forth;
Rejoice, for this great wonder drew many soldiers to the Faith!
Rejoice with Paul, O Peter, for ye are like two rivers of living water gushing forth from the wellspring of the Holy Spirit;
Rejoice, ye who were shown forth by the confluence of the two rivers named Jor and Dan!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, like torrents of rivers which gladden the city of the Church of God;
Rejoice, for ye are like streams of sweetness which give all the faithful to drink from the cup of salvation!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion XIII

 

O most glorious and laudable disciples of Christ, Peter and Paul, first-enthroned and equally enthroned holy Apostles, who have enlightened all the universe with the holy Faith and will come with Christ to judge the whole world!  Your proper dignity is not on earth, but is the glory and praise rendered in heaven.  Accepting now our unworthy entreaty, by your worthy supplications preserve us from all misfortunes, and beseech Christ, the just Judge, to be merciful to us at the last judgment, that, saved by your mediation, we may chant unto God our Savior:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! (Thrice).

(Kontakion 13 is chanted thrice in its entirety;
whereupon Oikos 1 and Kontakion 1 are repeated as below;
then follows the Prayers to Ss. Peter and Paul.)

 

Ikos I

 

Blessed art thou, Simon, son of Jonas! said Christ, the Son of the living God, unto thee, O right glorious Apostle Peter.  How then can we worthily call thee blessed who hast been called blessed by God Himself? Yet drawn faithfully, by a debt of love alone, we cry out to thee thus:

Rejoice, first among the apostles, foundation of the holy Church;
Rejoice, mighty pillar and ground of the Orthodox Faith!
Rejoice, ardent lover of the teaching of Christ;
Rejoice, first-seated among the council of the apostles!
Rejoice, good gate-keeper of the kingdom of heaven;
Rejoice, renowned physician for them that repent of their sins!
Rejoice, thou who spurned the vanity of the world and loved the spiritual life;
Rejoice, thou who didst forsake corruptible nets and didst fish the whole world with incorruptible ones!
Rejoice with Peter, O Paul, for ye both shone forth like two great beacons;
Rejoice, O ye who like a pair of steeds were harnessed by God to His chariot of noetic light!
Rejoice, all ye holy apostles, beholders of God, for ye are the light of all the world;
Rejoice, for through you the Faith which saveth us hath shone forth from Christ in every place!
Rejoice, O holy first-enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

 

Kontakion I

 

The Lord Who said of Himself:  I am the good Shepherd, said unto thee, O first-enthroned Peter:  If thou lovest Me, feed My sheep.  And He Who said:  I am Jesus, said of thee, O preeminent Apostle Paul:  He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the gentiles.  And likewise to all your colleagues, His apostles, He said: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you; go ye, and teach all nations.  And ye, receiving such grace from your good Chief Shepherd, as the foremost shepherds and teachers of all the world, from all misfortunes preserve ye us on the pasture of salvation, that we may cry out to you:  Rejoice, O holy first enthroned Peter and Paul, with all the holy apostles!

PRAYERS TO THE HOLY PRE-EMINENT APOSTLES PETER & PAUL

 

I

O most glorious Apostles Peter and Paul, who laid down your lives for Christ and beautified His pasture with your blood! Hearken unto the prayers and sighs of your children which are now offered up with contrite heart.  For, lo! we have darkened ourselves with iniquities, and for this cause have we been covered with misfortunes as with showers; and we have become exceeding poor in the oil of a good life, and we cannot fend off the ravening wolves which boldly strive to lay hands on the inheritance of God.  O ye mighty ones! bear ye our infirmities and separate yourselves not from us in spirit, that we not depart utterly from the love of God; but with your mighty assistance defend us, that the Lord have mercy on us all for the sake of your prayers, that He rend asunder the handwriting of our countless sins, and that He vouchsafe us with all the saints the blessed kingdom and the wedding feast of His Lamb, to Whom be honor and glory, thanksgiving and worship, unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

II

O holy Peter, chief of the apostles, rock of faith fixed firmly upon Christ, the chief Cornerstone, through thy confession!  Pray thou that, unmoved by the imaginations of my mind and carnal lusts, I, too, may through faith be fixed firmly upon this same Christ, the Rock living, chosen and precious; that through love I may be made perfect as a temple of the Spirit, wherein I may offer up spiritual sacrifices unto Jesus Christ our God.  O holy Paul, chief of the apostles, chosen vessel of Christ, overflowing with grace and the glory of God!  Entreat thou the Creator, Who hath authority over creation, that He make of me, who am now a vessel of perdition, a vessel of honor for Himself, sanctified and fitting, ready for every good work, unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

III

O ye foremost of the apostles:  Peter, steadfast exponent of the Faith of Christ, and Paul, melodious swallow of the teaching of the Lord!  We perceive you to be a much-flowing river recounting the words of Christ, gushing forth from the breast of the Lord, disclosing to us the depths of the well of divinely revealed truths.  We see you to be lamps which make things clear for us with streams of the fervor of divine love from heaven.  We bless you, for ye endured tribulation and pain to sow the seed of divine teaching, and with your footsteps went round all the ends of the earth.  With compunction we entreat you, O holy Apostles: cause us, in our sinful foolishness, to fall prostrate before the Lord, our Teacher; cause ye that the head of our pride be cut off, and haste ye to raise us up by your unceasing supplications, that there, with the choir of the angels and the apostles, we may glorify the Father of all, Who is wondrous in His saints, Who sent our Lord Jesus Christ into the world, and the Holy Spirit, Who is one in essence with Them, unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

IV

O holy Peter, chief of the apostles, rock of faith steadfast in thy confession, foundation of the Church immovable in Christ, pastor of the rational flock of Christ, keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven, fisherman most wise who from the depths of unbelief dost draw forth men!  Thee do I humbly entreat, that the net of thy divine draught encompass me and draw me forth from the abyss of perdition.  I know that thou hast received from God the authority to loose and to bind; release me who am bound fast with bonds of sin, show forth thy mercy on me, wretch that I am, and give life to my soul which hath been slain by sins, as before thou didst raise up Tabitha from the dead; restore me to the good path, as before thou didst restore the lame man at the Beautiful Gates, who had been lame from his mother's womb; and as thou didst heal all the infirm by thy shadow, may the grace given thee by God overshadow me, healing my ailments of body and soul.  For thou canst do all things, O holy one, through the power of Christ, for Whose sake thou didst forsake all to follow in His steps.  Wherefore, pray thou to Him in my behalf, wretch that I am, that by thy supplications He may deliver me from all evil and teach me with a pure heart to send up glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

V

O holy Paul, eminent among the apostles, chosen vessel of Christ, recounter of heavenly mysteries, teacher of all the nations, clarion of the Church, renowned orator, who didst endure many misfortunes for the name of Christ, who didst traverse the sea and didst go about the land, and didst convert us from the deception of idolatry!  Thee do I entreat and to thee do I cry: disdain me not, defiled as I am, but raise me up who have fallen through sinful sloth, as in Lystra thou didst raise up the man who had been lame from his mother's womb; and as thou didst give life unto Euthyches who lay dead, so also raise me up from my dead works; and as at thine entreaty the foundation of the prison once quaked and thou didst loose the bonds of the prisoners, so draw me out of the snare of the enemy, and strengthen me to do the will of God.  For thou canst do all things by the authority given thee by God, to Whom is due all glory, honor and worship, with His unoriginate Father and His allholy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.