15th Sunday after Pentecost; Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia; Ven. Theoctistus
Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church
An Orthodox Christian community on the campus of UW-Madison
1020 Regent St
(Lower Level)
Madison, WI 53715

Weekly Services:

Vespers: 5:00 PM Saturday
Divine Liturgy: 9:30 AM Sunday

Confessions: before and after Saturday Vespers or by appointment.


Click above to send names of those to be commemorated at Liturgy.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Tone 6

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday After the Exaltation of the Cross

Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross; Martyr Sophia, and her three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love


Martyr Sophia and her three daughters at Rome

Commemorated on September 17

(OCA) The Holy Martyrs Saint Sophia and her Daughters Faith, Hope and Love were born in Italy. Their mother was a pious Christian widow who named her daughters for the three Christian virtues. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Love was nine. Saint Sophia raised them in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ, but openly confessed it before everyone.

An official named Antiochus denounced them to the emperor Hadrian (117-138), who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He give them the strength not to fear torture and death. When the holy virgins and their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure. They looked as though they had been brought to some happy festival, rather than to torture. Summoning each of the sisters in turn, Hadrian urged them to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young girls remained unyielding.

Then the emperor ordered them to be tortured. They burned the holy virgins over an iron grating, then threw them into a red-hot oven, and finally into a cauldron with boiling tar, but the Lord preserved them.

The youngest child, Love, was tied to a wheel and they beat her with rods until her body was covered all over with bloody welts. After undergoing unspeakable torments, the holy virgins glorified their Heavenly Bridegroom and remained steadfast in the Faith.

They subjected Saint Sophia to another grievous torture: the mother was forced to watch the suffering of her daughters. She displayed adamant courage, and urged her daughters to endure their torments for the sake of the Heavenly Bridegroom. All three maidens were beheaded, and joyfully bent their necks beneath the sword.

In order to intensify Saint Sophia’s inner suffering, the emperor permitted her to take the bodies of her daughters. She placed their remains in coffins and loaded them on a wagon. She drove beyond the city limits and reverently buried them on a high hill. Saint Sophia sat there by the graves of her daughters for three days, and finally she gave up her soul to the Lord. Even though she did not suffer for Christ in the flesh, she was not deprived of a martyr’s crown. Instead, she suffered in her heart. Believers buried her body there beside her daughters.

The relics of the holy martyrs have rested at El’zasa, in the church of Esho since the year 777.

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Vespers and Divine Liturgy for this week for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Vespers, 5:30 PM, Wednesday, September 13, and Divine Liturgy, 7:00 AM, Thursday, September 14.


Thank you to Katie and Tom for serving on the parish council these last two years!  Elections will be on Sunday, September 24. Candidiates are:

  • Gregg Sanford
  • Jenya Grinblat
  • Mtka Mary Jensen

If you are interested in running for council please speak to me ASAP.


A reminder because of the UW home game, catechumen class, and Great Vespers are canceled for Saturday, September 16.


In Christ,


Fr Gregory

This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius


Wednesday, September 13

  • 1:00-5:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
  • 5:30 PM: Great Vespers & Veneration of the Cross

Thursday, September 14

  • 7:00 AM: Divine Liturgy
  • 1:00-5:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions [canceled]

Saturday, September 16

  • 3:30 PM: Catechumen Class [canceled]
  • 4:30 PM: Confessions [canceled]
  • 5:00 PM: Great Vespers [canceled]
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]

Sunday, September 17

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy

Looking Ahead


Wednesday, September 20

  • 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
  • 5:30 PM: Great Vespers & Veneration of the Cross

Thursday, September 21

  • 1:00-5:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions 
  • Akathist Our Lady Queen of All

Saturday, September 23

  • 3:30 PM: Catechumen Class 
  • 4:30 PM: Confessions
  • 5:00 PM: Great Vespers
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions

Sunday, September 24

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy

Hymns After the Small Entrance



Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection)

The Angelic Powers were at Thy tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure body. Thou didst capture hell not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord, Who didst rise from the dead,//glory to Thee.  


Tone 1 Troparion (Cross)

O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance! Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Thy Cross,//preserve Thy habitation!


Tone 4 Troparion  (Ss Cyril and Methodius)

Divinely-wise Cyril and Methodius, / equals-to-the-apostles and teachers of the Slavs, / entreat the Master of all / to strengthen all nations in Orthodoxy and unity of mind, / to grant peace to the world and to save our souls.


Tone 5 Troparion (Martyrs)

Thou didst blossom in the courts of the Lord as a fruitful olive tree, O holy martyr Sophia; in thy contest thou didst offer to Christ the sweet fruit of thy womb, thy daughters Faith, Hope, and Love.//Together with them intercede for us all!


Tone 6 Kontakion (Resurrection)

When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race.//He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and the God of all.


Tone 3 Kontakion (Ss Cyril and Methodius)

Let us honor the sacred pair, who translated divine scripture / pouring forth a fountain of divine knowledge from which we still draw today. / Now as you stand before the throne of the Most-high / we call you blessed, Cyril and Methodius, / as you fervently pray for our souls.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,


Tone 1 Kontakion (Martyrs)

The holy branches of noble Sophia, Faith, Hope, and ^Love, confounded Greek sophistry through Grace. They struggled and won the victory//and have been granted an incorruptible crown by Christ the Master of all.


now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Tone 4 Kontakion (Cross)


As Thou wast voluntarily raised upon the Cross for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Thy Name, O Christ God; make all Orthodox Christians glad by Thy power, granting them victories over their adversaries//by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace!

Epistle: Galatians 2:16-20


Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.


But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Gospel:  Mark 8:34-9:1

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

(Instead of “It is truly meet…,” we sing:)


Tone 8


Magnify, O my soul, the most glorious birth of the Mother of God! Virginity is foreign to mothers; childbearing is strange for virgins. But in thee, O Theotokos, both were accomplished.//Therefore all we nations of the earth unceasingly magnify thee.

By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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