Today, the sixth Sunday of Pascha in the year 2014, we commemorate St. Mario the Pole, also called The Slowing Down, who contended annually in the arena with 32 fierce pagan charioteers before an innumerable host of boozy, bosomy infield babes, thus inciting many men to absent themselves from the Divine Liturgy and lesser ecclesial assemblies and to show themselves openly as double-minded and inconstant.
Verse: To the contest of The Slowing Down with his adversaries in India No Place did the prodigals make haste. Through their prayers, O Christ Our God, grant us, their older brothers, and they the prodigals (I guess – grumble, grumble), repentance and remission of sins.
* * * * *
The remarks made in this essay do not represent a true excerpt of the Synaxarion, read at every Matins. They are intended as a good laugh for those who’ve attended Matins enough to know the rhythms and word play. Well, and maybe a little chastening for men so keen on motor sport that their churches can’t field a choir on Memorial Day Sunday.