From the heights Thou didst descend, O compassionate One, and Thou didst submit to the three-day burial, that Thou might deliver us from passion; Thou art our life and our Resurrection, O Lord, glory to Thee.
Thy Church, O Christ God, hath regaled herself in the blood of Thy Martyrs throughout the entire world, as in porphyry and purple. Through them she lifteth her voice crying: Turn with Thy compassion toward Thy people, and grant peace to Thy city, and to our souls the Great Mercy.
As first-fruits of our nature to the Planter of created things, * the world presenteth the God-bearing martyred Saints in off’ring unto Thee, O Lord. * Through their earnest entreaties, * keep Thy Church in deep peace and divine tranquility, * through the pure Theotokos, O Thou Who art greatly merciful.
THE EPISTLE OF ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
God is wondrous in His saints. In the churches, bless ye God.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (11:33-12:2)
Brethren, all the saints through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, and turned to flight armies of the aliens. Women received their dead by resurrection, and others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, being destitute, afflicted, tormented (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a witness through their faith, did not receive the promise, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
THE GOSPEL OF ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30)
The Lord said to His disciples, “Everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father Who is in heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in heaven. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed Thee. What then shall we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the New World, when the Son of Man shall sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundred fold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”