August 31 The Placing of the Sash of the Most Holy Theotokos

Read about the placing of the belt of the Theotokos here

The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos in a church of Constantinople’s Chalcoprateia district took place during the reign of the emperor Theodosius the Younger. Before this the holy relic, entrusted to the Apostle Thomas by the Mother of God Herself, was kept by pious Christians at Jerusalem after Her Dormition.

Parts of the holy Belt are in the Vatopedi monastery on Mt. Athos, in Trier monastery, and in Georgia.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of the Theotokos from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

With divine strength thou dost gird me about who piously hymn thy sacred cincture, as thou art the divine fortification, the might and impregnable rampart of thy city, O pure and all-hymned Virgin Maiden.                                                                                                                                                             

Thou gavest birth to the mighty God Who girdeth all the pious about with strength, O most immaculate one. Wherefore, we call thee blessed, and, joyously kissing thy divine cincture, we draw forth mercy and grace therefrom.

Joyfully do we form a chorus today for the deposition of the sacred cincture of the honored divine Maiden, from whence a girdle of incorruption, a seamless garment and a robe of salvation have been woven for us.

Thy people hasten beneath thy power, O most immaculate one, and ever flee to thy protection. Be thou a help for all, and grant to each those petitions which conduce to salvation, saving our souls from tribulations.

The heart is renewed which toucheth the sacred cincture of the Virgin with fervent faith, and it is girded about with invincible power against impure passions, and remaining unharmed by incorporeal foes.

Thy sacred cincture wherewith thou girded thine incorrupt body, O Maiden, still remaineth incorrupt, sanctifying those who approach it piously and removing the corruption of sickness and sorrow.

Thou wast the all-beauteous dwelling of the Word Who was incarnate of thee, O pure one, and wast well pleased to place thy cincture in thy holy temple; and venerating it, we are sanctified.

Thy precious cincture do we all honorably venerate with joyful heart, as an honor for all the faithful, O Theotokos, in that it touched thy precious body.

Having fallen into repose, thou wast taken up into the light unwaning, yet for those who call thee blessed thou hast left, in place of thy body, O pure one, thy precious cincture, a wellspring of miracles, a place of salvation, and a rampart for the city which honoreth thee, O all-pure one.

We enter thy temple as a new heaven, where thy divine cincture hath been enshrined as a treasure as splendid as the sun, emitting rays of miracles, illumining the hearts of all, and dispelling the gloom of the passions, O Maiden.

Thou art the ark of noetic sanctity, O pure and all-hymned one; and thou bestowest upon thy people the precious shrine containing the cincture which thou didst wear upon thy body, as a great refuge and an inexhaustible wellspring of healings.

A gift of great value hath been brought to thy city: thy precious cincture, O most immaculate one; and it was enshrined on this day in thy divine temple, and is become a cause of great rejoicing for those who fervently love thee, O Theotokos.

The shadows of the law and the visions of the prophets foretold that thou wouldst become the true Mother of God, O all-pure one through whom the curse hath been lifted and perfect blessing and saving grace have blossomed forth for those who hymn thee with faith and love.

When thy divine cincture was enshrined on this day in thy temple, O divinely joyous one, all manner of blessings were laid up with it; and he who approacheth it is filled to overflowing with sanctity, receiving that for which he asketh with faith.

In giving birth to the all-comely Word thou wast adorned, O Virgin, and in thy beauteous habitation thou hast been well-pleased to enshrine the beautiful cincture wherewith thou didst gird thy beauteous body, O Theotokos.

Thy holy temple is acknowledged by all to be a second paradise, O most immaculate one; for, within, it hath acquired thy cincture, which filleth the hearts of those who with faith fall down before it, with divine fragrance, like a sweet-smelling rose.

A cloud of divine rain wast thou, O all-immaculate one, letting fall the water of sanctification, bringing the land, frozen by sin, to the fruitfulness of piety. Wherefore, with faith we call thee blessed.

For our sake didst thou bear as a babe Him Who existed before time began, and thou renewest hearts grown old through sin, which obtain regeneration though the deposition of thy precious cincture, O Ever-virgin Maiden.

Thy holy church is marvelous in righteousness, having acquired thy miraculous cincture, which poureth forth wonders; and it is shown to be an abyss of healing for the poor, O Virgin, Mother and Theotokos.

Every soul that gathereth in thy holy temple is filled with gladness, beholding thy cincture therein like a radiant sun, emitting the light of the works of the Maker of all and the divine Spirit.

Overlooking all our offenses, O pure one, strengthen thou our hearts, for thou girdest about with power those who have faithfully acquired thy cincture as a treasure of great price which cannot be taken away.

The Queen of all, having departed for the mansions of heaven, hath left behind her cincture as a treasure for the king of all cities, and thereby we are saved from the invasion of foes, visible and invisible.

Let us now approach the well-spring which poureth forth grace and mercy: the precious shrine containing the most precious cincture of the Virgin and Mother who honored humanity with her precious birthgiving.

Praise the Lord, all ye hosts of heaven! Glorify her who gaveth birth to Him, all ye nations of men! For she hath bestowed her cincture upon the faithful as a true refuge and salvation.

Let the clouds drop righteousness down from above at the deposition of thy cincture, O divinely joyous cloud; and let every soul sing sweetly, rejoicing: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Like a holy throne hath the coffer, containing the resting cincture of the only divine Maiden and pure Queen of all, been splendidly enshrined within the holy place wherein none may enter; and therefrom perfect rest issueth forth abundantly upon those who labor amid many pangs.

In sacred manner didst thou give birth unto the Lord on the earth, and with thy holy hands didst truly gird Him about Who girdeth the pious with power; and now, having ascended on high to the heavens, thou hast left thy precious cincture as might and protection for men, O Virgin Theotokos.

The divine grace which followeth on thy precious cincture, O pure Virgin, is truly the healing of the ailing, the confirmation of those who stumble, the divine good cheer of the despondent, a rudder for those at sea and the return of the lost; and we venerate it with faith for all ages.

Celebrating today the holy deposition of thy divine cincture, we, thy servants, honor the sacred festivity and with joy cry out to thee: Rejoice, O Theotokos, joy of the angels and of all men who chant with faith: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Behold, the divine couch of Solomon, which sixty of the powerful – the sayings of the Scripture - surround as though a royal bower! In a precious coffer she placeth her cincture today, that all the faithful may invoke her, and for the safekeeping of the pious.

O city of the King of heaven, of whom wondrous things have been spoken! Thou hast given thy most holy cincture as a precious and holy gift to thy city, for the confirmation of all the faithful, and thereby the rulers, resplendent in Orthodoxy, vanquish the adversary.

Ye mountains, now drop down sweetness, and ye hills, everlasting gladness. O ye assemblies of patriarchs, choirs of martyrs, ye company of prophets and honored assembly of the divine apostles: rejoice with all of us at the deposition of the divine cincture of the divine Maiden.

Thou hast sanctified all things by thy birthgiving, O Virgin, and hast now bestowed upon us an excess of enlightenment: thine all-holy cincture, at whose deposition all the earth danceth and honoreth thee, who hast filled mankind with ineffable joy.

As thou art merciful, O pure one, deliver me, who have recourse to thy mercy, from the false love of the passions, from the enemy who ever tempteth me with the burden of sins, from despondency, cruel abduction, captivity and sin, O all-pure one.