SEE now! what is so good, or what so pleasant, as for brethren to dwell together?
It is as ointment on the head, that ran down to the beard, even the beard of Aaron; that ran down to the fringe of his clothing.
As the dew of Aermon, that comes down on the mountains of Sion: for there, the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever.
Today was at one time the feast day of St Osgyth (or Osyth), a nun martyred by Danish Viking marauders in 700.
Dutifully married off to Sighere, King of Essex, she bore him a son. But later, perhaps after his death, having pledged herself to the monastic life she established a convent at Chich (now St Osyth) in Essex, and became its first Abbess.
It might be nice to remember her today, the feast of her fellow martyrs from an earlier age, St Sergius and St Bacchus (see GOARCH).
These two Christians in the Court of the Roman Emperor Maximian refused to keep the festivals of the Imperially-sanctioned gods. Stripped and shamed with women’s dress, they were then put to death for their faith in 296.
WITH the heart’s eye drawn up rank on rank against the foe, ye threw down their every deceit, and bore away the victory from on high, O ye all-praisèd martyrs. Cry ye with one mind: Good and pleasant it is to be together with Christ.
SERGIUS and Bacchus dwell in the heavens, O Christ, and take their fill of thy divine light. O thou who art alone Immortal, let them haste with all speed and strip me, who walk in the darkness of ignorance, of the passions, sending down a garment of incorruption upon me. Thus clad in white, may I keep their light-bearing feast with hymns, and cry out to thee O Lord: Good and pleasant it is to be together with Christ.
THE Church of God that looked down of old upon your struggles, ye martyrs of the whole world, is today clad brightly, and she faithfully keeps feast in your memory, wearing shame as it were a kingly adornment playfully lain upon your godly necks, by which ye were made worthy of heavenly glory, and unending blessedness.
WRETCH that I am, having squandered all my life in evils, now I am abandoned O Pure Lady, truly I am bereft of all good deeds, but seeing death approach alas! I tremble at thy court of judgment, O Son of God. From which, O Virgin, deliver me, and before that necessity, O Mistress, turn me and save me.
THOU didst suffer many pains, O Immaculate, at the crucifixion of thy son and God, groaning with tears, and crying with a loud voice: Alas! sweetest child! How is it that thou sufferest unjustly? How dost thou hang upon the tree, thou that fillest all the earth? Whence, O All-holy Virgin, in faith we beseech thee, make him gracious unto us.
From Matins on the Feast of St Sergius and St Bacchus. My non-expert translations, from Analogion.