Word | translated and re-edited by Isaac Lambertsen, reader. © All rights reserved. Used with permission.
* Troparion composed and ** Kontakion modified by Fr John Whiteford with blessing of Met. Hilarion (Kapral)

Month of June

The 11th Day

Commemoration of the Holy Protomartyrs of China,

Slain during the Boxer Rebellion

At Little Vespers

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 4 stichera, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “Joy of the ranks of heaven…”—

From Christ, the Judge of the contest, have ye received wreaths woven in the heavens, O all-glorious new-martyrs of the land of China, who in love for God are imitators of the angels. Pray ye in our behalf, that we may navigate Twice

O choir worthy of heaven, ye sacrificed yourselves for the risen Christ, that ye might obtain higher things; and by your pangs and sufferings ye have gladdened multitudes of angels and men. Wherefore, heal the many pangs and sufferings of those who celebrate your memory.

Like stars shining on high in the firmament of the Church of God, ye shed your light upon the Orthodox faithful, gladdening them during their earthly struggle, and filling their souls with the joy which awaiteth those who endure to the end.

Glory…, in the same tone & melody—

Ye were shown to be luminaries of the Far East, full of heavenly light, and ye destroyed the hellish gloom of the dark madness that is from of old. Disdain not the meagerness of our praises, but ever enlighten with rays of heavenly wisdom the souls of those who honor your struggle.

Now & ever…: Theotokion—

Through thee are abundant healings bestowed upon all who have recourse unto thee with faith, O all-pure one, in that for us thou gavest birth unto Christ, the Healer of infirmities. Wherefore, by thy supplications heal thou my soul, that with a pure heart I may hymn thy loving-kindness.

Aposticha stichera, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.: “O house of Ephratha…”—

Hymning the beautiful corrections of the martyrs of China, we find the faithful intercessors for the faithful to be curative springs of heavenly dew.

Stichos: The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them.

Having received enlightenment through the laver of regeneration, ye were later more perfectly baptized in your own blood, O passion-bearers.

Stichos: Many are the tribulations of the righteous, and the Lord shall deliver them out of them all.

Mounting the chariot of your blood, O glorious new-martyrs, ye traveled the path to heaven, and thereby have come to dwell in the new Jerusalem.

Glory…, in Tone V—

Come, ye who love the feasts of the Church, and clapping our hands in gladness, let us chant hymns to the new martyrs of China, for like the spiritual athletes of ancient times they entered the arena of martyrdom and engaged the wicked foe in combat, shedding their blood for the sake of Christ; and having trampled the enemy underfoot and triumphed gloriously, they received the wreath of victory from the right hand of the Judge of the contest.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone—

Who can worthily hymn the abyss of thy loving-kindness, O all-immaculate Bride of God? Even the wise fall silent and the eloquent are at a loss. But as thy children we cry out to thee: Rejoice, joy of the sorrowful, wealth of the poor, mother of orphans and glory of the downtrodden!

Troparion, in Tone III—*

Let us the flock of Christ with faith and love /
now glorify with hymns the faithful martyrs who suffered for Christ in China. /
For having confessed the Faith, /
they all went bravely unto death, /
not considering suffering for Christ's sake too hard to endure; /
but rather viewing death as a passage to a place of blessed repose. /
Therefore to the Martyrs we cry out: //
Remember us all, who sing your praises.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion—

Rejoice, impassable gate of the Lord! Rejoice, rampart and protection of those who have recourse unto thee! Rejoice, haven untouched by storms, thou who knowest not wedlock, who gavest birth in the flesh to thy Creator and God! Fail not in thy supplications for those who hymn and worship thy birthgiving!

At Great Vespers

After the Introductory Psalm, we chant “Blessed is the man…”, the first antiphon.

On “Lord, I have cried…”, 8 stichera: 4 in Tone V: Spec. Mel.: “Rejoice…”—

Behold, now bless the Lord, O ye faithful! Lo! rejoice now, O Orthodox Church, wondrously hymning the joy of the martyrs; for heaven is adorned with new luminaries; and the angels join chorus, giving them crowns; men rejoice, offering up praises; the land of China, adorned, is triumphant; and we celebrate the radiant glorification of Twice

Rejoice now, O father John, luminary of Tobol’sk, who didst send the first preachers of Orthodoxy into China! And do thou rejoice also, O all-wondrous Innocent, lamp of Irkutsk, protector and fellow-laborer of the Orthodox evangelizers in China! Behold, your children are glorified as the valiant protomartyrs of their land! Lo! that which was barren giveth birth; a waterless desert poureth forth rivers of life! O wondrous miracle! O great joy! Entreat Christ in our behalf, O martyrs!

Rejoice, O holy hierarch John, bright beacon of Shanghai and the land of China, lighted by God as a guide for those who amid pagan darkness are caught in the raging sea of polytheism! With the new martyrs of China send forth the light of the true Faith of Christ, for which they laid down their lives, that those who are sinking may take heart and steer for the calm harbor of Jesus our Helmsman, Who safely bringeth all to salvation.

And 4 stichera idiomela, in Tone VIII—

“O Lord, it was Thy good pleasure that light be revealed to Thy world and its pagan people, and Thou didst extend the wings of the preaching of the Truth over our land!” Thus did the martyrs cry out when they were slaughtered for Thy sake, O Jesus most sweet; and thus do we also glorify Thee. O Lord, our light and resurrection, Twice

“O the wondrous mystery of the Faith! O the depths of Thy wisdom, O Christ! Thy salvation is among all the nations, for Thou wast pleased freely to bestow repentance upon our fallen race. What, therefore, shall we render unto Thee?” Thus saith the assembly of the holy new-martyrs, through whom we now pray with tears: From all misfortunes free us who honor you with love.

Like lambs to the slaughter were ye led by the heathen, who, in their great malice and hatred from the true Faith of Christ, slew you without pity, employing all manner of cruel tortures. Yet like the Chief Shepherd, our Lord and Savior, ye uttered not a word, but meekly accepted bodily death, that your souls might be fed by Him in the meadows of paradise, by the waters of everlasting life.

Glory…, in Tone II—

O council of holy new-martyrs, divine regiment of the land of China, confirmation of the faithful, joy of all the saints! O wondrous ones! Ye endured all—the pangs of cruel maimings, the shedding of torrents of blood, beheading, dismemberment, the laceration of your flesh. And established firmly upon the rock of the True Faith, ye sent up hymnody to God amid your torments; and having been made as lustrous as gold in a crucible, ye strengthen amid sorrows those who magnify you.

Now & ever…: Dogmatic theotokion, in the same tone—

The shadow of the law passed away when grace arrived; for, as the bush wrapped in flame did not burn, so the Virgin gave birth and yet remained a Virgin. In place of the pillar of fire, the Sun of righteousness hath shone forth. Instead of Moses, Christ is come, the Salvation of our souls.

Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. 3 Readings:

Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah

Thus saith the Lord: "All the nations are gathered together, and princes shall be gathered out of them. Who will declare these things, or who will declare to you things from the beginning? Let them bring forth their witnesses, and be justified; and let them hear, and declare the truth. Be ye My witnesses, and I too am a witness," saith the Lord God, "and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know, and believe, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no other God, and after Me there shall be none. I am God; and beside Me there is no Savior. I have declared, and have saved; I have reproached, and there was no strange god among you. Ye are My witnesses, and I am the Lord God, even from the beginning; and there is none that can deliver out of My hands. I will work, and who shall turn it back?" Thus saith the Lord God Who redeemeth you, the Holy One of Israel.

A Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for Himself. As gold in the furnace hath He tried them and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign forever. They who put their trust in Him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with Him: for grace and mercy is to His saints, and He hath care for His elect.

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

The righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them. He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armor, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise. Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well-drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark. And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them. Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill-dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty. Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand; learn, ye who be judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, ye who rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations. For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Most High, Who shall try your works, and search out your counsels.

At Litia, the sticheron of the temple, and these stichera idiomela—

In Tone I: O most lauded martyrs, divinely crowned assembly of China, forget not your race, but as ones called from on high fervently entreat God Most High, that He be not utterly angered by our sins, that He consume the blasphemies of the heretics with the word of wisdom, that He increase the True Faith in your land, melt our hardened hearts, and illumine with salvation and divine light those who honor you.

In Tone II: With what hymns of praise shall we glorify your radiant end, O unblemished lambs of Christ who now glorify the Trinity with sacred mouths, O champions of piety, lovers of heavenly glory, inexhaustible wellsprings of gracious healings, ardent allies of the faithful, who entreat Christ to grant us great mercy?

In Tone IV: Once the divinely eloquent David chanted: The nations shalt Thou guide upon the earth, unto Thy path. Wherefore, the time also came, in accordance with the prophecy of the Psalmist, for the land of China to bear sweet and goodly fruit for the Husbandman: the all-radiant multitude of the new-martyrs, who entreat Christ for the salvation of our souls.

Glory…, in Tone VI—

Celebrating the splendid solemnity of your memorial, we are filled with gladness. As ye are bold intercessors for us, pour forth for us fervent entreaty: heal the infirm; grant health to the sick and consolation to those who suffer and are afflicted, humility to those who rejoice, chastity to those smitten by the storm of the passions, enlightenment to unbelievers, and the forgiveness of all sins to the faithful.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone—

Now hath the counsel of the devil been set at nought; now hath the might of Satan been crushed! For by thine Offspring, O Virgin Mother, have the new-martyrs been delivered like birds from a snare, and have been illumined with the light of the Truth. And lo! standing with thee before the throne of God, they pray for the salvation of all who honor thee as the true Theotokos.

Aposticha stichera, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O all-glorious wonder…”—

Your radiant memorial hath dawned today, O divinely wise council, heirs to the kingdom of Christ, strugglers to the death for obedience and love divine. The whole Church hymneth you with love; the sun and the stars join chorus together. Grant peace, joy and hope of salvation unto those who assemble in your church.

Stichos: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

O all-glorious wonder! O Christ our God, Thou hast shown the passion-bearers of the land of China to be destruction for the demons and helpers of men; for, arrayed in the armor of light, they endured cruel tortures. And soaring aloft like eagles, they confounded the aerial spirits, and have made their abode in the bridal-chamber of heaven.

Stichos: From the lands hath He gathered them, from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the sea.

Rejoice, O council of martyrs called by God! Rejoice, divinely planted garden of radiant fruit, godly company two hundred strong! The land of China hath produced its own fruit for the Fashioner of all! The streams of your blood are rivers of healing for the faithful, the mortification of your flesh gladdeneth the angels, and your supplications are salvation for men.

Glory…, in Tone V—

Rejoice, divine assembly of passion-bearers, who broke the fangs of the invisible beasts, O imitators of the angels, fervent intercessors for men, weepers over the land of China, protectors of the Russians who sojourn there, O ye who fervently pray for our souls!

Now & ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone—

Thou art the temple and portal, the palace and throne of the King, O most honored Virgin, through whom Christ the Lord, my Deliverer, Who is the Sun of righteousness, hath revealed Himself unto those who sleep in darkness, desiring to enlighten that which He fashioned by His own hand in His image. Wherefore, O most hymned one, as thou hast acquired maternal boldness before Him, entreat Him without ceasing, that our souls be saved.

After the Blessing of the Loaves, the troparion of the new-martyrs, in Tone III—*

Let us the flock of Christ with faith and love /
now glorify with hymns the faithful martyrs who suffered for Christ in China. /
For having confessed the Faith, /
they all went bravely unto death, /
not considering suffering for Christ's sake too hard to endure; /
but rather viewing death as a passage to a place of blessed repose. /
Therefore to the Martyrs we cry out: //
Remember us all, who sing your praises. Twice

And “Virgin Theotokos, rejoice!…”, once.

At Matins

At “God is the Lord…’, the5/Dec/2011 22:18 troparion of the new-martyrs, twice; Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone—

Rejoice, impassable gate of the Lord! Rejoice, rampart and protection of those who have recourse unto thee! Rejoice, haven untouched by storms, thou that knowest not wedlock, who gavest birth in the flesh to thy Creator and God! Fail not in thy supplications for those who hymn and worship thy birthgiving!

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone VI—

When the Kwang-hsu Emperor reigned in the land of China, Christ made His abode within you, O mighty martyrs, and invisibly bestowed upon you His own kingdom; for, bearing upon yourselves the image of Him Who wrought salvation upon the Cross, ye were vouchsafed paradise in a single hour. Wherefore, remember us before the throne of the Master.

Glory…: Another sessional hymn—

O martyrs of Christ, ye lamps made luminous by God, enlighten your race amid the darkness of life, that having passed through the night of unbelief, they may come to love the nobility of Christ, and that, strengthened by your following after Him, they may chant to you a hymn of thanksgiving.

Now & ever…: Theotokion—

Prefiguring thee of old, O all-pure one, Israel traversed the Red Sea dryshod; and now the New Israel hymneth thine unwedded state, and crieth out with the martyrs: O thou who hast illumined the human race with never-waning rays, enlighten all who seek the Lord, thy Son.

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone III—

Christ acquired you as the first-called martyrs of the Chinese race, wherefore ye cast down the pride of the serpent and, hastening boldly to the contest, ye glorified Christ in your bodies. Him do ye now earnestly entreat, O holy ones, that He grant us great mercy.

Glory…: Another sessional hymn—

Ye who were born in the darkness of unbelief were shown to be full of divine radiance after death. O your love for God! Even though ye lived in the Faith for a short time, amid tortures ye remained strong for Christ. Wherefore, we chant unto you together: Rejoice, beacons of the Chinese race, leading them to God!

Now & ever…: Theotokion—

O thou who gavest birth to Christ, the Author of light: with the holy hierarchs of the Far East—Innocent, John, Nicholas, and John and Jonah the newly glorified—fervently pray to Him, that with the brilliance of the divine word He may proclaim His glory also among the Chinese people, O Virgin Theotokos.

Polyeleos, and this magnification—

We magnify you, O holy new-martyrs of China, and we reverence your honored sufferings, which ye endured for Christ.

Selected Psalm verses—

A Our God is refuge and strength. [Ps. 45: 2]

B A helper in afflictions which mightily befall us. [Ps. 45: 2]

A Therefore shall we not fear when the earth be shaken. [Ps. 45: 3]

B O God, who shall be likened unto Thee? Be Thou not silent, neither be still, O God. [Ps. 82: 2]

A For behold, Thine enemies have made a noise, and they that hate Thee have lifted up their heads. [Ps. 82: 3]

B Against Thy people have they taken wicked counsel, and have conspired against Thy saints. [Ps. 82: 4]

A They have made the dead bodies of Thy servants to be food for the birds of heaven. [Ps. 78: 2]

B The flesh of Thy saints for the beasts of the earth. [Ps. 78: 2]

A They have poured out their blood like water. [Ps. 78: 3]

B For Thy sake we are slain all the day long. [Ps. 43: 23]

A We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. [Ps. 43: 23]

B Thou hast made us a byword among the nations. [Ps. 43: 15]

A And I became a man scourged all the day long. [Ps. 72: 14]

B By fire hast Thou tried us even as silver is tried by fire. [Ps. 65:11]

A We went through fire and water, and Thou didst bring us out into refreshment. [Ps. 65: 12]

B Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous. [Ps. 31: 11]

A For the Lord is in the generation of the righteous. [Ps. 13: 5]

B And their inheritance shall be for ever. [Ps. 36: 18]

A The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them. [Ps. 33: 18]

B A light hath dawned forth for the righteous man, and gladness for the upright of heart. [Ps. 96: 11]

A In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be. [Ps. 111: 6]

B In the saints that are in His earth hath the Lord been wondrous; He hath wrought all His desires in them. [Ps. 15: 3]

A Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel. [Ps. 67: 36]

B The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied. [Ps. 91: 13]

A The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him. [Ps. 63: 11]

B And all the upright in heart shall be praised. [Ps. 63: 11]

Glory…, Now & ever… Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to Thee, O God. Thrice

After the Polyeleos, this sessional hymn, in Tone VIII—

Enlightened with exalted mind through the tree of the Cross, O company sanctified in tortures, led by Metrophanes ye initiated a splendid undertaking for your race. May your tearful entreaties never cease, that all who honor you with love may safely pass through this life that is full of tears.

Glory…, Now & ever… Theotokion—

O most pure Mother of God, unblemished ewe-lamb, who can describe thy love for all men? By thee is all creation gladdened; in thee doth the newly-glorified council of the protomartyrs of the land of China rejoice. Accepting their supplications in our behalf, bring them to thy Son, that He may save our souls.

Song of Ascents, the first antiphon of Tone IV.

Prokimenon, in Tone IV—

The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them.

Stichos: Many are the tribulations of the righteous; and the Lord shall deliver them out of them all.

Let every breath praise the Lord.

Gospel according to Matthew, § 36

The Lord said to His disciples: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye who speak, but the Spirit of your Father Who speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he who endureth to the end shall be saved.”

After Psalm 50: Glory…, Through the prayers of the new-martyrs of China…; Now & ever…: Through the prayers of the Theotokos…; Have mercy on me, O God,…; and this sticheron, in Tone VI—

The land of China is sanctified today with illustrious blood; the passage of time is made luminous by the splendors of the martyrs; and the Church of Christ is adorned with right brilliant stars! For, enlightened by the light of Christ’s sufferings, the new-martyrs gloriously finished their contest, received crowns of eternal life, and were shown forth as radiant guides for all who thirst for righteousness.

Canon of Supplication to the Theotokos [the Paraclesis], with 6 troparia, including the irmos; and that of the New-martyrs of the land of China, in Tone VI—

Ode I

Irmos: The children of those who were saved have concealed beneath the earth Him Who of old covered the pursuing tyrant with the waves of the sea; but let us chant unto the Lord like the maidens: Gloriously hath He been glorified.

[Refrain: O holy new-martyrs of China, pray unto God for us!]

I hide not Thy truth in my heart, O Christ God, but hymn Thy salvation among all the nations. Wherefore, touch Thou my mouth, cleansing my defilement with the burning coal of the Spirit, O Word, that with goodly words I may hymn the beautiful struggle of the protomartyrs of China.

O holy Apostle Thomas, first to preach the Gospel in the land of the Yellow Emperor, rejoice now, beholding a worthy branch of Christ, the choir of the new-martyrs for the Orthodox Faith preached by thee of old, a new boast and joy for the faithful.

When ye sat in darkness and the shadow of death, ye were illumined by the light of Orthodoxy, and with your whole heart hastened to the one God, the Trinity alone. Wherefore, the faithful are now enlightened by your radiance.

The most sacred name of Christ hath now been magnified by you in China, O all-praised passion-bearers; for remaining unshaken in your confession to the end, ye imitated the angels and astonished men.

Theotokion: Truly, all generations magnify thee, O all-blessed Virgin! For, lo! even the land of China speaketh gratefully to thee by the mouths of the new-martyrs, saying: Rejoice, thou who without corruption gavest birth to our Savior!

Katavasiæ: Irmoi from the Pentecostarion, or, if the Pentecostarion hath passed, "I will open my mouth…"


Irmos: Creation, beholding Thee, Who suspended the whole earth without support upon the waters, Thyself suspended upon Golgotha, was seized with great awe, crying out: None is holy save Thee, O Lord!

Even though ye were born in a godless land, with love for God ye searched for the Truth; and in the Orthodox Church ye found the living Water that floweth unto life everlasting.

An unexpected torrent of trials smote you; rivers of wrath arose; and the heathen assailed you like storms, O valiant martyrs of Christ. Yet, faithful to Christ unto death, ye calmly endured to the end.

We hymn your journey to the Jerusalem on high, and are amazed by your manly valor, O right wondrous ones; and our souls are delighted by your love for God. Wherefore, travel with us amid both joys and sorrows.

If we are amazed at the lily that sprung forth amid thorns, how much more are we astonished by these brilliant stars which have shone forth clearly amid the depths of pagan darkness? We hymn you, O divinely radiant luminaries of the Far East!

Theotokion: Having made His abode within thee, God in nowise disturbed the key of thy virginity, O pure one. Earnestly beseech Him, that He make steadfast all who hymn thee.

Sessional hymn, in Tone VIII—

Today is this temple resplendent with heavenly light! The assembly of the new-martyrs, an inexhaustible wellspring healing infirmities, giveth the life-bearing sweetness of its waters unto those who honor them with love, and drieth up the bitter outpourings of pleasures.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion—

Having torn themselves away from their sojourn in this deceptive life, and cut themselves off by the torments of their crucified flesh, unto death they remained faithful to our crucified God, Who was born of thee in the flesh, O Virgin Mother. By their supplications and the divine Cross cleanse us of every sin, in that thou art good.

Ode IV

Irmos: Foreseeing Thy divine condescension upon the Cross, Habbakuk cried out in awe: Thou hast cut down the dominion of the mighty, O Good One, entering into fellowship with those who are in hades, in that Thou art Almighty.

O all-blessed martyrs, ye gave yourselves over to voluntary slaughter, and sanctified the land of China with your blood; and now, entreat Christ God in behalf of all who celebrate your memory with love.

[O holy martyr Paul, pray to God for us!]

O martyr Paul, namesake of Paul the great apostle of the nations! Full of joy, thou didst serve the preaching of the Gospel, and with prayer on thy lips didst surrender thy soul unto God Who was beloved of thee.

[O holy martyr Ia, pray to God for us!]

Ia, the blessed instructor in the Faith, was not afraid to suffer for Christ; and, twice tortured, finished the beautiful race in the pure Faith, as an unblemished ewe-lamb of Christ.

[O holy martyr John, pray to God for us!]

O child John, having lived in the world for eight years from thy birth, thou didst attain the measure of the stature of Christ, for thou wast slain for Christ, and like a lamb wast wholly consumed by fire. Rejoice now, O new Isaac! Rejoice, O most wondrous martyr!

Theotokion: O all-wondrous Theotokos, who gavest birth to the enlightenment of the world! With the new-martyrs now glorified cease thou never to entreat thy Son and God, that He grant enlightenment also to the Chinese people, steeped in idolatry, even at the end.

Ode V

Irmos: Isaiah, rising at dawn out of the night, and beholding the never-waning light of Thy theophany, O Christ, which hath mercifully come to pass for us, cried out: The dead shall rise up and those who are in the tombs shall arise, and all born on earth shall rejoice.

Your memorial shineth forth, O faithful servants of Christ, and illumineth with fervor the hearts of the faithful who bow down with love before your honored image and chant unto you: Rejoice, for ye are the great boast of the Orthodox Faith!

O blessed favorites of Christ, forget not your earthly homeland. Dispel the darkness of opposition to God; enlighten those who slumber in ignorance; and unfailingly beseech Christ, that He grant a time for repentance unto all.

Let us hymn the radiant children of China, slaughtered for Christ by the demonic pagans. And let us now celebrate their memory, looking mystically upon their struggle as like unto that of the innocents in Bethlehem, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

[O holy martyr John, pray to God for us!]

O child John, smiling in the face of death, thou didst say unto the torturers: “It is not hard to suffer for Christ!” O wondrous scion of the land of China, fill thou our hearts with the sweet fragrance of thy meekness.

Theotokion: Through the divine Spirit thou didst conceive in thy womb the Creator, God and Fashioner of all, O pure and most immaculate one. Glorifying Him, we hymn thee, O Virgin, as the palace of the King of all and the help of the world.

Ode VI

Irmos: Jonah was swallowed, but was not held fast in the belly of the monster; for, serving as an image of Thee, Who didst suffer and wast given over for burial, he issued forth from the whale as from a bridal chamber. And he said to the watchmen, the vain and false guardians: Ye have forsaken His mercy!

[O holy hieromartyr Metrophanes, pray to God for us!]

It is especially meet to sing thy praise, O first hieromartyr for the Orthodox Faith in China. Bless us from on high, O right laudable father, and offer up prayer unto God in our behalf.

[O holy hieromartyr Metrophanes, pray to God for us!]

Born to a family of Orthodox Christians, thou wast raised well in piety, and from thy youth didst love the True Faith, O right blessed Metrophanes.

[O holy hieromartyr Metrophanes, pray to God for us!]

Remaining unshaken in the Faith of Christ, thou wast counted worthy to suffer for Christ unto death. Wherefore, rejoice, O rule of faith, model of meekness, boast of piety!

[O holy hieromartyr Metrophanes, pray to God for us!]

Even though thou didst consider thyself unworthy of the priestly calling, Nicholas, the great apostle of Japan, raised thee up upon the mountain of pastoral service to thy people; and standing now before the Trinity with thine all-sacred instructor, pray thou earnestly, that our souls be saved.

[O holy hieromartyr Metrophanes, pray to God for us!]

Having first watered the field of souls with the sweat of thy ministry, and later nourished the weak plants with the outpouring of thy blood, even after death thou carest for thy people, O glorious one.

Theotokion: He Who was born of thee in the flesh made thee holier than the angels and more aublime than all creation; wherefore, as thou art our Mistress, with the new-martyrs of the land of China entreat thy Son and God in our behalf.

Kontakion, in Tone I— **

O martyrs of these latter times, /
ye whitened your garments in the blood of the Lamb, /
and shed your own blood for Christ. /
Wherefore, ye now minister unto Him day and night in the Church of heaven. /
Therefore, entreat Christ for us, O glorious martyrs, /
that He preserve His little flock from the beguilement of the enemy, /
and that He lead all of us out of all tribulation //
unto a land of never-waning light.

Ikos: The armies of the angels rejoiced when ye fled from the darkness of paganism to the light of Orthodoxy, cleansing your souls and bodies of sins through holy baptism. And having accepted the heavy lot of serving Christ in this age of new paganism, we offer up before your icon such hymns as these: Rejoice, confessors of Christ amid this blasphemous age; rejoice, radiant stars of the East! Rejoice, faithful worshippers of the true God; rejoice, mighty contenders against the demons! Rejoice, beacons dispelling pagan darkness; rejoice, ye who trampled the vile idols underfoot! Rejoice, all-wondrous lilies of China; rejoice, ye who pray fervently for the enlightenment of your race! Rejoice, much-suffering sheep of the Shepherd Who was slain for us; rejoice, towers of God-loving patience! Rejoice, fiery suns of divine love; rejoice, ye who from the night of ignorance attained unto the dawn of the knowledge of God! Rejoice, O glorious martyrs of China, who strengthen us to endure unto the end!


Irmos: O ineffable wonder! He, Who in the furnace delivered the venerable children from the flame, is laid in the grave, dead and devoid of breath, for the salvation of us who chant: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou!

[O holy martyr Tatiana, pray to God for us!]

Let us praise the martyr Tatiana, who was beheaded for Christ; for she intercedeth for us before the throne of the divine Trinity, that all who hymn her may be saved.

[O holy martyr Isaiah, pray to God for us!]

Possessed of prophetic zeal for Christ, O blessed Isaiah, thou didst not spare thy material flesh, considering temporal sufferings unworthy of the heavenly glory that would be manifest through them.

[O holy martyr Maria, pray to God for us!]

Betrothed to the all-glorious Isaiah, O wondrous martyr Maria, as the namesake of the all-pure Mother of God thou didst desire to die near her church, where thou wast born.

Rejoice, ye confessors of Christ firm as adamant! Rejoice, sure guardians of the faithful, partakers of the cup of Christ, who were baptized with His baptism! The whole Church now hymneth your great love for God.

Theotokion: Through the Virgin, in place of our first mother, Thou becamest a New Adam in place of the first: true and immortal Life in place of death. Wherefore, acknowledging the Theotokos who gave Thee birth, all of us, the faithful, bless Thee as is meet.


Irmos: Fall back in awe and fear, O heaven; and let the foundations of the earth be shaken! For, lo! He Who dwelleth in the highest is numbered among the dead and sojourneth as a stranger in a small tomb. Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

O new-martyrs elect of God, ye surrendered yourselves into the hands of the torturers with unwavering faith—children and mothers, boys and girls, youths and maidens, the old and the young, those known and those unknown—O ye faithful worshippers of the true God, hymning and supremely exalting the Lord for all ages.

O glorious regiment of fearless warriors, ye tore apart the nets of the devil by the severing of your members, and like stars of golden radiance illumined the land of China. With your splendor enlighten us also, who glorify and supremely exalt the Lord in your temple.

We glorify you, O most lauded new-martyrs, chosen beforehand by the Lord, Who loveth mankind; and we pray: O assembly of silvery radiance, by your fervent supplications to God shine forth rays of Orthodoxy in your land with splendor.

O divinely eloquent David, prophesy now that the Lord hath brought together the nations whom He hath delivered from the hand of the enemy—from the east, and the west, from the north and the sea. For having found the word of God to be living water, they give drink to the souls of those who hymn them with love.

Theotokion: Rejoice, thou who didst shine forth the Sun of righteousness upon the world, star of golden radiance, now illumining with rays of joy the first-crowned martyrs of the land of China! With them entreat thy Son, that He grant unto the world peace and great mercy.

Ode IX

Irmos: Lament Me not, O Mother, beholding in the tomb the Son Whom thou didst conceive in thy womb without seed; for I shall arise and be glorified, and as God everlasting shall I exalt with glory those who magnify thee with faith and love.

O our joy, assembly of wondrous saints, honoring your great torments and tears, we beseech you with all our soul: Never cease to entreat Christ the King, that He grant salvation unto all who hasten to your church.

We hymn you, the pillars of the Orthodox Church established firmly in the Far East, O all-praised ones. Wherefore, make us also firm in the Faith, and impart rivers of healings to the faithful.

Though sharing a body with men, ye transcended the infirmity of human nature and became an astonishment for the angels. Wherefore, ye strengthen the weak, heal the pangs of those who have recourse unto you with faith, and do away with the passions of those who pray to you, in that ye are all-wondrous passion-bearers.

Theotokion: As the intercessor for all Christians, O most immaculate Mother of God and Mistress, in that thou art merciful deliver thy suffering servants from misfortunes and temptations, and heal those afflicted with cruel transgressions and held fast by grievous wounds and ills.

Exapostilarion: Spec. Mel.: “Hearken, ye women…”—

Today the firmament of heaven is adorned with new stars, with whose radiance the earthly sea reflecteth rays of joy; and the faithful, illumined, join chorus, singing a hymn of victory to the Bestower of light.

Glory…, Now & ever…: Theotokion—

Entreated by the supplications of the honored new-martyrs of China, O Virgin, Queen of all, remove from us darkness of soul, in that thou gavest birth for all to the only Bestower of light.

On the Praises, 4 stichera, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs…”—

The land of China now produceth for Christ the choir of blessed passion-bearers, the ten-score fruit of two centuries of sowing by Russian preachers. Behold, they have enriched the beautiful wilderness with the outpouring of the blood of the sacred martyrs, whose healing memorial the Church of Christ doth now celebrate, whereon we also offer up the heartfelt praise: Rejoice, sure intercessors for those who hymn you!

Today is glorified the choir of the holy new-martyrs who pleased the God of all in the land of China; and as we who honor them stand with compunction in their temple, they invisibly pray for us to Christ, heal the infirm, comfort the sorrowful, and grant peace and spiritual light to the tempest-tossed, by their splendid entreaties to God in behalf of us sinners.

Today the East imparteth its rays to the whole world. Today the gloomy vales of delusion are destroyed, and heathen superstition is confounded by worshippers of the Bestower of light who shone forth from among the nations. O glorious martyrs, ye stars illumining the setting of the corrupt world, today the divine Church is filled with your radiance, and the assembly of the faithful doth splendidly join chorus for your sake.

Today the heavenly granaries are filled with a great store of wheat; today the land of China offereth Thee the firstfruits of its crop, O God, Creator of all. And receiving it upon Thine altar which is above the heavens, confirm that which Thou hast done for us. Increase the time we have for repentance, pour forth Thy mercy upon the whole world, and before the end enlighten the land of China with rays of Orthodoxy, having as fervent intercessors the choir of most excellent new-martyrs who glorified Thee there.

Glory…, in Tone VIII—

O vineyard planted by God, ye Cross-bearing multitude of wondrous passion-bearers, on your memorial which hath arrived do we flee to you, O kind-hearted ones. Accept from us these unworthy praises, and be ye helpers and sure mediators for those who with all their hearts cry out to you: Rejoice, O greatly merciful martyrs, never leaving those who honor you.

Now & ever…: Theotokion, in the same tone—

O Mistress, accept the supplications of Thy servants, and deliver us from all want and grief.

Great Doxology. Troparion. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.

At Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia 4 from the appointed ode of the canon from the Pentecostarion, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the martyrs. But if the Pentecostarion hath passed, 4 from Odes III & 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the martyrs.

Prokimenon, in Tone IV—

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Stichos: From the lands hath He gathered them, from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the sea.

Epistle to the Romans, §99

Brethren: We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, those He also called: and whom He called, those He also justified: and whom He justified, those He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Shall God Who justifieth? Who is he who condemneth? It is Christ Who died, yea rather, Who is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Alleluia, in Tone VI—

Stichos: The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken, and He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun and unto the setting thereof.

Stichos: Gather together unto Him His holy ones who have established His covenant upon sacrifices.

Gospel according to John, § 52

The Lord said to His disciples: “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you: The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him Who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He who hateth Me hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law: They hated Me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

Communion Verse—

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; praise is meet for the upright.