Wednesday was the feast of St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who was martyred by the Roman state somewhere between 155 and 167.
According to St Irenaeus of Lyons, who had met him, Polycarp was a convert to Christianity, catechised by the Apostles themselves, and particularly well acquainted with St John the Evangelist.
MAY the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity;
and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who “raised Him from the dead.” (Gal 1:1).
Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, (1 Tim 2:2) and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, (Mt 5:44) and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that ye may be perfect in Him.
St Polycarp of Smyrna, Epistle to the Philippians, Chapter 12 (translation from CCEL).
Let us pray for the peace of the world.
Reader: Lord, have mercy. After each petition.
For our Archbishop N, and all our brotherhood in Christ.
[For our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth.]
For our absent fathers and brethren.
For those who hate us and for those who love us.
For those who are merciful to us and serve us.
For those who have asked us, unworthy though we are, to pray for them.
For the release of prisoners.
For those who sail upon the sea.
For those who lie in sickness.
Let us pray for an abundance of the fruits of the earth.
And for every soul of Orthodox Christians.
Let us bless devout Sovereigns.
Orthodox High Priests.
Our parents and teachers, and all our departed fathers and brethren, Orthodox believers, who here or in all the world lie asleep in the Lord.
Reader (during the last petition): May God pardon and have mercy on them, where all the just repose; and have mercy and save us, as he is good and loves humankind.
AWED by the beauty of your virginity and by the splendour of your purity, Gabriel cried aloud to you, Mother of God: How can I praise you as I should? By what name shall I invoke you? I am troubled and amazed. Therefore, as I was commanded, I cry to you: Hail, full of grace!
Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us.