Canon of All the Saints of the Isles

Ode I

Irmos: O ye people, let us send up a hymn to our wondrous God, Who freed Israel from bondage, crying out a song of victory to Thee Who alone art Master.

Refrain: All ye Saints of the Isles, pray to God for us!

In spiritual songs let us hymn together our godly fathers and mothers who have shone forth in piety, and whom every island hath brought forth and whom the Church of the Isles hath nurtured.

Rejoice, ye holy Apostles and all ye holy ones of God, who of old built the ancient church and hallowed our land from the beginning. Rejoice, ye first Christians who brought wisdom from Rome and never cease to intercede for us with Christ our God.

Come, O ye lovers of the martyrs, and with hymns let us honour the First Martyrs of the Isles, Alban, Julius and Aaron and all their holy company who would not worship the idols and thus shed their blood for Christ.

Disciple of Martin, thou art the greatness and boast of Whithorn, O holy Ninian, for by thee men were freed from the delusion of idolatry. Thou who didst build the white church, shine forth in the whiteness of thy purity, and pray for the people whom thou hast led to God.

Thou didst chronicle the deeds of the martyrs and upbraid thy people for their sins, O wise Gildas. And as from the lands of the West, thou didst preach repentance as the Forerunner of old, so now do thou shine forth once more in the West as a new Forerunner before the Return of the Lord.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Together with the angelic hosts, O Sovereign Lady, together with the honourable and glorious prophets and apostles and martyrs, pray thou to God for us sinners, who through all the Isles have glorified thee.


Irmos: None is holy as our Lord and none is righteous as our God, Whom all creation doth hymn in words of song: None is righteous save thee, O Lord.

Thou art a spiritual paradise, O Island of the Saints, bringing forth a multitude of spiritual blossoms, O blessed fathers and mothers, whose number it is not possible to reckon. We therefore praise and hymn the One Master for all the throng of the saints of the Irish land. 

Rejoice and be glad, O servant of Christ, Palladius who was the first sent, bringing the Word of God to the souls of the humble who had long thirsted for the Wisdom and Truth of God. Rejoice, O great and noble Patrick, thou didst go out to the Irish land as Apostle, teaching the Trinity and thus freeing those that were held captive by the demons from the wiles of the serpent. Pray thou now that the souls of all who dwell in the Irish land may be saved.

Come, O ye faithful, let us hymn our compassionate mothers, Brigid the Abbess of Kildare, disciple of Patrick, and Ita, the lover of the Holy Trinity, who both made the light of Christ to shine forth in the hearts of many.

Now let us hymn the monastic fathers: Macartan, Declan, Ailbhe, Enda of Inishmore the father of monastic life, Murtagh, Abbot Senan, holy Ciaran and Finnian of Clonard, the teacher of the three thousand saints of Ireland; and Abbot Brendan the Voyager who took the Word of God to the lands of the Western ocean, Comgall of Bangor, Colman of Cloyne, Finbar of Cork, the holy Abbot Kevin of Glendalough and Maedoc of Ferns, Fintan of Taghmon who prayed for the departed, and Laserian of the holy island.

By thy holy intercessions, thou many thousandfold Thebaid of Irish saints, whose zeal spilled out across the seas, teach us to seek out the salvation of our souls, for thy light hath spread across the ocean to the West and across the sea to the East and all the peoples of the earth sing of thy holy feats.

Theotokion: Lo! The time for the intercession of the Birthgiver of God is come, for temptations have grown manyfold. Behold! Now is the time to sing out to her! Let us therefore say with our whole heart: O Sovereign Lady, help thou thy people!

Kontakion in Tone III to the special melody: Today the Virgin…

Today the choirs of the saints who have pleased God in the Isles stand forth in the Church and unseen pray to God for us. With them the angels give glory; and all the saints of the Church of Christ make glad with them, and all together they beseech the Pre-Eternal God for us.

Ikos: The saints are shown to be fair blossoms of the Garden of Eden, laden with the nectar of good works and the sweet scent of Orthodox teachings, whereby our souls are fed and our spiritual thirst is quenched, Come ye therefore, let us hasten beneath their shade and let us bless them as the delight and adornment of the Isles, and as a model and pattern for our lives, for they have received unfading crowns of glory and all together they beseech the Pre-Eternal God for us.

Sessional Hymn in Tone IV to the special melody: Go thou quickly before…

Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, sent you forth as rays to enlighten the Isles, O favoured ones of God. Wherefore by your divine entreaties, O blessed ones, make radiant my darkened mind and soul.

Glory… Now and ever… in the same tone:

O ye faithful, let us make haste to the divine and healing raiment of God our Saviour, Whose good pleasure it was to take on this flesh and to shed His own blood upon the Cross, thereby redeeming us from bondage to the enemy. Wherefore, we cry out to Him in thanksgiving: Save Thou Thine Isles and beneath Thy precious raiment protect all their peoples and save our souls, for Thou alone lovest mankind.

Ode IV

Irmos: O Word of God, with divine vision the prophet perceived Thee Who wast to become incarnate of the Birthgiver of God, the mountain overshadowed, and trembling he glorified Thy might.

On Man thou first didst sow the Word of Christ, O holy Germanus, bringing forth a heavenly harvest. Together with thy brethren Maughold and Conan, pray that we who sing to thee may be granted great mercy. 

Ye were enlighteners of Cymru, holy Cadfan and father of saints Illtyd the learned, together with holy Cadoc, Dyfrig, Teilo, Beuno, Deiniol, Asaph and Tysilio; and thou, O David, who didst gather a great host of monastics and from Jerusalem become the glorious Archpastor of the West. And raising thy voice thou didst silence the ragings of those who knew not Christ. Together with the holy bishops, and the sacred virgin Winefred, and all the saints of Cymru, pray that we too may be delivered from the same.

Exult today, O all ye saints of the Cornish land, hermits and hermitesses, bishops and faithful people, Thebaid of the glory of God in the West! Let Petroc the rock of faith, together with Constantine the King and Piran, Austell, Budoc and the holy virgin Morwenna, leading you in praising Christ our Saviour, now pray to God for the salvation of our souls.

Forsaking thy royal fatherʼs home, thou didst seek to live as an anchorite in Devon, O Nectan, blessed martyr of Christ. Bequeath to us purity of speech, and together with thy holy family, do thou intercede for the salvation of our souls. 

O Samson the strong, thou didst bring the light of Christ from the Isles of the holy Lide and Helier, and crossing the sea thou didst bring the Gospel to Armorica, there sowing the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the multitudes and casting out the demons from before thee.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O Virgin Bearer of God, thou hope of all Christians, do thou grant unto us thy mercies which thou didst show to our forebears of old, and protect and preserve us from all evil.

Ode V

Irmos: Delivering me from the darkness of the passions, O Christ, vouchsafe, I pray Thee, that out of the deep night of the present age, my spirit may rise at dawn to the light of the day of Thy commandments.

Thou didst come out of the Irish land, O gentle dove, most glorious Columba, and from holy Iona the Scottish land was formed by thy teachings and those of thy many spiritual disciples, the holy Abbots Adamnan, Dunchad and Comgan, and was enlightened with thy wonders. 

O holy Kenneth, hallowing of the lands of the West, together with the beloved Kentigern of Glasgow, thou didst bring the grace of the Divine Word and a rich harvest of souls.

Out of the Irish land, thou didst come to the Scots with the flame of the Word, O holy Donan, and together with all thy heavenly companions, and Blaithmac and Adrian, by your blood ye did bring many to the faith of Christ.

O holy Comgall, come from the West, together with the holy fathers Machar, Blane, Drostan, Flannan, Fillan, Maelrubba of the Picts, Maelruain, Fergus and Donald, do thou pray to God for the salvation of our souls.

O Columban and all ye righteous of the Western shores, ye did go east and west, north and south, making the deserts cities and by the Light of Christ in your lives ye have taught us to follow the Master Christ Who alone loveth mankind.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O Lady of the Isles, thou who art the fervent helper for all who have recourse to thee; thou who art the hope of the hopeless, do thou look down upon the afflictions of thy people and reveal to us a sign of thy mercy, O Most Pure One. 

Ode VI

Irmos: O Thou who lovest mankind, accept me who am held fast by many sins, and who now fall down before Thy compassion, and save me as Thou didst save the prophet, O Lord.

Rejoice, O holy father Gregory, Apostle of the English, inspired by God, pray that the Angles may become Angels; and thou holy Augustine, first Archpastor of the Church of Canterbury, Mother of the English, who preached to holy Ethelbert, pray to God for the salvation of thy people, for thou wilt present us before His dread Throne at the end of time.

O holy bishops of Canterbury and York, Laurence, Mellitus, Justus, Honorius, Paulinus, together with all your worthy successors, your sound hath gone out unto all the ends of the land, destroying the worship of idols and planting the true Faith in our hearts.

Thou didst spurn a mortal bridegroom for love of the Immortal Bridegroom Christ, O holy Eanswythe, thus founding the first convent for English womankind. And now together with thy holy brothers, do thou pray to God for the salvation of our souls.

Armed with the might of the Cross, thou didst vanquish the enemies of Christ, O holy King Oswald, thus meriting a martyrʼs crown. Together with the holy martyred Kings, Edwin and Oswin, do thou pray for the salvation of our souls.

Thou didst come forth from the blest Isle of Iona, O lowly Aidan, light of the North, to feed the hearts of the English. Together with the glorious wonderworker and faithful shepherd of the flock of the Word, Cuthbert, and all the saints of the holy island of Lindisfarne, Abbots Finan, Colman, Edbert, Edfrith and Ethilwald, pray now that our sins may be forgiven by the Most Merciful Saviour.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Of old, the Creator of all wrought many wonders through Thee, O Virgin, and saved us from the invasion of enemies. Thus be thou now a protection and aid for Thine Isles, O Lady and Queen, saving us from all the assaults of the enemy.

Kontakion and Ikos of the Resurrection in the Tone of the Week.


Irmos: On the plain of Dura the tyrant once built a furnace to torment those who bore God; and therein the three youths hymned the One God, saying: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

O holy Felix, light of the East, thou didst bring the Faith of Christ to the East Anglian land, baptising the faithful Audrey of Ely and all her holy family, giving heart to Fursey and his brethren, together with the holy Botolph of Iken, do thou intercede for us sinners.

Strengthened by the grace of God, O holy Theodore, the gift of God to the Isles, from Tarsus thou didst come like a second Paul, bringing the unity of Christ to the nations. Together with thy holy companion, Abbot Adrian, do thou now instruct our souls in the light of piety through thy holy prayers.

O holy Abbesses, Mothers Ethelburgh, Hilda, Ebbe, Mildred, Mildgyth, Milburgh, Werburgh, Ermenburgh, Enfleda, Elfleda, Cuthburgh and Edburgh, having acquired the gifts of abstinence and humility, wisdom, faith and perfect love, ye attained the Kingdom that knoweth no evening.

O holy Birinus, Apostle of Wessex, together with our fathers Agilbert, Aldhelm, and Egwin, and Chad in the marches with his holy brother Cedd, Apostle of Essex, and holy Wilfrid who didst enlighten the darkness of the pagans of the south, and the holy bishops of Hexham, Eata, John of Beverley, Acca and Alcmund and all your holy company, together with Erkenwald, light of London, intercede for the salvation of the souls of your people.

Thy tears in the wilderness brought forth fruit an hundredfold, O holy father Guthlac, and by the weapon of thy prayers thou didst vanquish the demons and receive from heaven the grace to heal the diseases of those who honour thee. Together with thy holy disciples, Pega, Bettelin and Cissa, do thou pray to God for the forgiveness of our sins.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Grant us thine aid through thine entreaties, O Most Holy Birthgiver of God. Trials and tribulations have befallen us, sorrows have grown manyfold and our foes have arrayed themselves against us. But, standing forth, do thou, O All-Pure One, deliver us. Cast down the uprisings of our enemies and grant us victory, that all who do evil to thy servants may be put to shame.


Irmos: Becoming vanquishers of the tyrant and the flames by Thy grace, taking exceeding care to keep Thy commandments, the children cried aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.

Thou wast adorned with fair speech, O Venerable Bede, for thou didst reveal the mysteries of the Scriptures and glorify the saints of the English land. Together with the holy fathers, Benedict, the lover of the holy images and the holy Abbots Sigfrid and the humble Ceolfrid, do thou intercede for the salvation of our souls.

With zeal overspilling from the Isles, to those who knew not the Word of Christ thou didst go out with streams of living water, O divine Clement, Apostle of the Frisians, followed by the Archpastor Boniface, Apostle of the German lands, who with all his helpers, Willibald, Winnibald, Walburgh, Lioba, Thecla and Willehad, brought light to the darkness, and together with a great host, wast counted worthy of a martyrʼs crown, and ye were followed by Sigfrid out of Glastonbury, the Apostle of the Swedes.

Wearing the purple of your own blood, ye exchanged your earthly crowns for heavenly ones, O royal martyrs Ethelbert, Alcmund, Kenelm and Wistan; wherefore the miracles at your tombs proclaim your innocence.

In Winchesterʼs royal city thou didst shine forth with the grace of humility, O holy bishop Swithun. Wherefore the Lord exalts thee together with all the saints of Winchester, Hedda, Birnstan and Alphege, and the land of Wessex doth ever make glad in thee.

When the savage Northmen came to the English land, many martyrs were raised up, from Chertsey to Coldingham, in Crowland and Peterʼs burgh, in Bardney and Ely and a multitude of other places north and south, and like them, thou, our holy patron thrice-crowned Edmund the King, didst not renounce the name of sweet Jesus. Wherefore, O holy martyr, thy tongue did utter words even after thy repose and thy body was resplendent in the grace of incorruption.

In Englandʼs darkest hour thou didst comfort the righteous Alfred with thy wise counsel, O holy hermit Neot, and from Athelney went up the prayer of the faithful, that the Orthodox faith might be restored in an England remade, through the servants of God, holy Grimbald, Plegmund and companions, crying aloud; Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.

Hymn to the Mother of God: Thou art the boast of Christians, O Sovereign Lady; thou art a weapon against our enemies and a bulwark for those who flee unto thee. On thee we now call for help, O Lady of the Isles: Let not the foe of mankind rise up against the peoples of thine Isles, but do thou vanquish them and save our souls.

Ode IX

Irmos: O Birthgiver of God, perfection of virginity, who doth exalt this feast with the grace of thy mystic presence, do thou bring to salvation those who magnify the most pure memory of thy Word.

Emulators of the Apostles in labours and watching, ye have presided over the Church, O holy bishops, Oda the renewer, Dunstan the shepherd of souls, Ethelwold the father of monks, mild Oswald, Wulsin and Alfwold of Sherborne, who loved all the English saints; wherefore we magnify you in psalms and hymns.

Obedient to thy father in Christ Dunstan, thou didst win the prize of obedience in martyrdom, O holy King Edward, scion of the repentant Edgar, wherefore thy shrine gave forth miracles of healing. Now that thy holy relics have been revealed in these latter times, do thou show forth thy healings anew.

O holy virgins, Edburgh and Edith, ever guarding yourselves with the sign of the Cross, together with holy Elgiva, Wulfhilda and Ethelfleda, pray for the salvation of our souls.

For thy flock and thy land, thou didst lay down thy life, O holy Archpastor Alphege. As thou didst receive from the First Shepherd a crown of glory, so do thou now pray for the salvation of our souls.

O holy fathers and mothers of the Isles from all the ages, known by name and unknown, revealed and hidden, having attained to the heavenly Zion and the great glory of God, do ye beseech God for comfort and strength for us who are beset by the snares of these latter days, raise up our fallen Isles anew to the purity of the Orthodox Faith, and gather their scattered people into Holy Church before the end.

Hymn to the Mother of God: O Virgin full of grace, who of old enriched the towns and hamlets of thy sea-girt dowry with the images of Thy presence as with traces of sweet fragrance, accept our songs of thanksgiving and deliver thine Isles from all misfortune, for we magnify thee as the never-failing protection of our lands.


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