May 21

PolyeleosThe holy emperor Constantine and his mother Helen, equal to the apostles. Constantine reigned in ancient Rome and in Byzantium (which became New Rome), and was the first Christian emperor, champion of the Faith. Though he was not baptized until on his deathbed, he considered himself a Christian, and called the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 325 to settle the Arian heresy. (337) On the Via Labicana in old Rome, Helen, the mother of Constantine the emperor is remembered. She single-mindedly worked to help the needy and piously visited churches, mingling with the crowds. Having made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to see the places of the Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ, she honored the manger and cross of the Lord by building basilicas worthy of respect. (327)

At the Divine Liturgy

music - see the May Menaion

Troparion,  Tone 8.  Seeing the cross in the sky like Paul, * like him you received a call from the Divine. * You committed the royal city into the hands of the Lord. * Save this city always in peace, O only Lover of us all, * through the prayers of the Theotokos.

Glory – Kontakion, Tone 3.  Today, Constantine and his mother reveal the cross, * that most precious tree which puzzles the Jews. * It is the armor of Christian authorities against enemies. * It has proved itself awesome in war by its many miracles.

Prokeimenon, Tone 8 (Ps. 18:5,2). Through all the earth their voice resounds; * their message reaches to the end of the world.
V. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Epistle:  Galatians 1:11-19

But if within the 50 days from Pascha to Pentecost:

Epistle:  Acts 26:1-5, 12-20

Alleluia, Tone 1 (Ps. 88:20d, 20:2). Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. I have exalted one chosen from the people.
V. O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king; how your saving help makes him glad.

Gospel: John 10:1-9

Communion Hymn (Ps. 18:5). Through all the earth their voice resounds; * their message reaches to the end of the world.