WHEREFORE death approaches, and swallowing up the body as a bait is transfixed on the hook of divinity, and after tasting of a sinless and life-giving body, perishes, and brings up again all whom of old he swallowed up.
For just as darkness disappears on the introduction of light, so is death repulsed before the assault of life, and brings life to all, but death to the destroyer.
St John Damascene (+749), “An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith”, III.28. (CCEL.)
O MY Creator, taking all that is common to man, making all that is ours thine own, thou wast pleased to be nailed to a Cross; taking death in a snare [θάνατον ἑλόμενος], thou wast pleased to submit to it as a man, in order that as God thou mightest redeem from death that which is common to man.
Wherefore we cry out to thee, as Giver of Life: O Christ, Glory be to thy Resurrection.
O LORD thou madest the memory of thine Apostles bright beyond measure, as thou art All Powerful, because thou strengthenedst them to imitate thy Passion. For with manly courage they conquered the power of Belial; whence they received gifts of healings [Lk 9:1-2].
By their intercessions, O thou who lovest mankind, grant peace unto thy people.
HAVING armed you with the panoply of Christ, as with a breastplate, and having put on the weapons of faith [Eph 6:10-18], with manly courage ye cast down the battle-array of the enemy. For eager in hope of life ye stood firm before all the threats and scourges of the tyrants.
Wherefore ye received crowns, ye martyrs of Christ, steadfast of soul.
PROPHETS foretold, Apostles taught, Martyrs confessed, and we have believed, that thou art verily the Birthgiver of God; wherefore also we magnify thy unspeakable birthgiving.
Matins on Thursday of Mid-Pentecost (today). Original at Analogion.