Ss. Cyril and Methodius
Bishops and Confessors
These brothers, the Apostles of the Slavs, were born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. Though belonging to a senatorial family they renounced secular honours and became priests. They were living in a monastery on the Bosphorous, when the Khazars sent to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Cyril was selected and was accompanied by his brother. They learned the Khazar language and converted many of the people. Soon after the Khazar mission there was a request from the Moravians for a preacher of the Gospel. German missionaries had already laboured among them, but without success. The Moravians wished a teacher who could instruct them and conduct Divine service in the Slavonic tongue. On account of their acquaintance with the language, Cyril and Methodius were chosen for their work. In preparation for it Cyril invented an alphabet and, with the help of Methodius, translated the Gospels and the necessary liturgical books into Slavonic. They went to Moravia in 863, and laboured for four and a half years. Despite their success, they were regarded by the Germans with distrust, first because they had come from Constantinople where schism was rife, and again because they held the Church services in the Slavonic language. On this account the brothers were summoned to Rome by Nicholas I, who died, however, before their arrival. His successor, Adrian II, received them kindly. Convinced of their orthodoxy, he commended their missionary activity, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, and ordained Cyril and Methodius bishops. Cyril, however, was not to return to Moravia. He died in Rome, 4 Feb., 869.
At the request of the Moravian princes, Rastislav and Svatopluk, and the Slav Prince Kocel of Pannonia, Adrian II formed an Archdiocese of Moravia and Pannonia, made it independent of the German Church, and appointed Methodius archbishop. In 870 King Louis and the German bishops summoned Methodius to a synod at Ratisbon. Here he was deposed and condemned to prison. After three years he was liberated at the command of Pope John VIII and reinstated as Archbishop of Moravia. He zealously endeavored to spread the Faith among the Bohemians, and also among the Poles in Northern Moravia. Soon, however, he was summoned to Rome again in consequence of the allegations of the German priest Wiching, who impugned his orthodoxy, and objected to the use of Slavonic in the liturgy. But John VIII, after an inquiry, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, decreeing, however, that in the Mass the Gospel should be read first in Latin and then in Slavonic. Wiching, in the meantime, had been nominated one of the suffragan bishops of Methodius. He continued to oppose his metropolitan, going so far as to produce spurious papal letters. The pope, however, assured Methodius that they were false. Methodius went to Constantinople about this time, and with the assistance of several priests, he completed the translation of the Holy Scriptures, with the exception of the Books of Machabees. He translated also the “Nomocanon”, i.e. the Greek ecclesiastico-civil law. The enemies of Methodius did not cease to antagonize him. His health was worn out from the long struggle, and he died 6 April, 885, recommending as his successor Gorazd, a Moravian Slav who had been his disciple.
Catholic Encyclopedia -1913
Ss. Cyril and Methodius
Bishops and Confessors
Double – White Vestments
Missa ‘Sacerdotes Tui’
INTROITUS – Psalm 131: 9-10
Sacerdotes Tui Dómine, índuant justítiam, et sancti tui exsúltent: propter David servum Tuum, non avértas fáciem Christi Tui.
Ps. 131: 1. Memento Dómine David et omnis mansuetúdinis ejus. Gloria Patri.
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Thine anointed.
Ps. O Lord, remember David and all his meekness. Glory be to the Father.
Almighty, eternal God, Who didst grant the peoples of Slavonia to come to the knowledge of Thy name through Thy blessed confessors and bishops, Cyril and Methodius, grant that, as we glory in their festival, we may be joined with them in fellowship. Through our Lord.
EPISTLE – Hebrews 7: 23-27
Brethren, there were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: but Jesus, for that He continueth forever, hath an everlasting priesthood. Whereby He is able also to save forever them that come to God by Him; always living to make intercession for us. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, and undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as the other priests, to offer sacrifice first for His own sins, and then for the people’s; for this Jesus Christ our Lord did once, in offering Himself.
GRADUAL – Psalm 131: 16-17
I will clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall rejoice with exceeding great joy. There will I bring forth a horn to David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – Luke 10: 1-9
At that time, The Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. And He said to them, The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send labourers into His harvest. Go, behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house: and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein; and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 67: 36
God is wonderful In His saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give power and strength to His people: blessed be God.
Have regard to our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and to the oblations of Thy faithful, that they may be pleasing unto Thee on the festival of Thy saints, and may draw down on us the aid of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise.
COMMUNION – Matthew 10: 27
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light, saith the Lord; and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the house tops.
We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thou, Who dost vouchsafe unto us the Heavenly gifts, grant us, by the intercession of Thy saints, Cyril and Methodius, to despise all things earthly. Through the same Jesus Christ