‘“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the knowledge that you are the Christ, through whom we have received the knowledge that you are the God of angels and powers and of all created beings, and of the whole company of the righteous who live in your sight, I thank you for making me worthy of this day and hour, that I should be given a part in the number of the martyrs, a share in the cup of your Christ and of resurrection to eternal life in soul and body through the incorruption that comes to us from the Holy Spirit.
May I be accepted this day before you as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as you, the God of all truth, foreordained, prophesied to me, and now fulfil in me. Therefore I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you, together with the eternal and heavenly Christ, your beloved child, through whom be glory to you with him and the Holy Spirit, now and to ages of ages. Amen”.
When he had said Amen to his prayer, the men in charge of the fire lit it, and a great flame blazed up. And we, to whom the vision was given, saw a marvel. We have been preserved alive to report the event to others.
The fire made something like a room, or the sail of a vessel filled with wind, and surrounded the body of the martyr like a kind of wall. Inside it he was not like burning flesh, but like bread being baked, or gold and silver refined in the fire. Moreover we smelt a fragrant scent like incense or other costly spices’.
from The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, 4th century, by Eusebius, c.260/65-c.339/40
Fulfil, O Lord, the petitions of thy servants who on this day devoutly reverence the passion of blessed Polycarp, thy Martyr and Bishop: and accept us, together with him, as a whole burnt-offering dedicated unto thee; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon