Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Akathist Hymn to St. Innocent

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The Akathist Hymn to St. Innocent of Moscow Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of North America

(Trisagion Prayers)

Kontakion 1—Tone 8

O Holy Father, Good Shepherd of the Flock entrusted to you by the Lord!
You dedicated all your strength and heart, all your mind and soul to Christ!
In the remotest regions you labored tirelessly without thought of earthly reward or the sake of His Holy Church and the salvation of all.
We, the recipients of your great spiritual legacy, offer to you this hymn of praise.
As you stand before the Throne of the Lord of Glory, intercede for our land and its people!
That united in One, Holy Orthodox Church we may gratefully sing to you:
Rejoice! O Holy Father, Metropolitan Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Ikos 1

O Holy Father Innocent! Your glory has shone from the Far Eastern lands to the Western World. From humble origins in a Siberian village you rose to world renown as a modern Apostle. The Lord chose you to bring the Orthodox Faith to the ancient Peoples of Alaska and Asia, who together with us honor you with these songs of praise:
Rejoice! Imitator of the Apostles and their Successor!
Rejoice! Evangelizer of the Arctic Peoples!
Rejoice! Scholar and Teacher of the Aleuts!
Rejoice! Illuminator of the Eskimos and Indians!
Rejoice! Humble genius whose footsteps were guided by the Lord!
Rejoice! Visionary Architect of the Orthodox Church in America!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 2

You distinguished yourself as a young student, displaying your many interests and talents by excelling in your studies at home and in school.
Your greatest joy was the service of God and His Holy Church.
Your uncle instructed you in the ways of piety and faith so that from an early age you sang to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos 2

In your youth, the Lord prepared you for your lifetime of service by enabling you to study various disciplines.
Remembering your dedication, we thankfully celebrate your memory:
Rejoice! Your talents were employed in the service of Christ!
Rejoice! Your achievements inspire all who are familiar with them!
Rejoice! Skilled craftsman, imitator of the Carpenter of Nazareth!
Rejoice! Clock--maker who proclaimed the Timeless One!
Rejoice! Your teachers marveled at your intelligence!
Rejoice! Your spiritual children praise your humility!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 3

Completing your preparation at the seminary at Irkutsk, you accepted the Divine Call to the missionary frontier of Alaska. Together with your wife, the beloved Katherine, you set out on your Apostolic journey to Russian America, as you sang to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos 3

As a newly ordained priest you showed great determination in reaching your destination, 1,000 miles away, in the Bering Sea.
You willingly forsook all for the sake of the Gospel of Christ, traveling for many months over frozen tundra and treacherous seas. Inspired by our dedication, we sing to you:
Rejoice! Apostle to America!
Rejoice! Heroic Founder of Orthodoxy in the Western World!
Rejoice! Imitator of the Holy Apostle Paul!
Rejoice! Courageous voyager on the northern seas!
Rejoice! Your dedication equalled that of the Apostles!
Rejoice! Your perseverance was a Gift of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 4

Arriving at Unalaska, you rendered thanks to the Lord for your safe passage. Kneeling on the beach together with all those in your company, you praised God with the hymn:
Alleluia!

Ikos 4

Together with your tutor, the Aleut chieftain Ivan, you studied the Native language and devised a writing system for it.
You labored for many years, preparing the Word of God for publication in the Aleut tongue.
You astounded the indigenous peoples with your ability to preach to them in their own language, thus enlightening them with the Light of Christian Truth.
We glorify God for bringing you to our shores and honor your evangelical accomplishments:
Rejoice! Ennoblement of Ancient Peoples!
Rejoice! Father of Learning in Alaska!
Rejoice! Teacher of Virtue and Divine Truth!
Rejoice! Catechist of those seeking Righteousness!
Rejoice! Your vision inspires all future missionaries!
Rejoice! Your brilliance illumines the arctic night!
Rejoice O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 5

You traveled throughout the Aleutian region, braving storms and hostile seas in your efforts to evangelize your scattered flock.
Warmed by your love for the Lord, you journeyed in your bidarka on the icy waves, softly singing to the Creator of all: Alleluia!

Ikos 5

During the ten years you remained in the Aleutian Islands, you devoted much time and energy to the study of the land, people, and wildlife of the area.
You kept careful records of your experiences and observations so that this heritage could be preserved for future generations.
You opened schools for the Native children so that they could advance in the knowledge of God and His Creation.
Praising the Lord for His bounties, we offer a hymn to you:
Rejoice! Patient instructor of the simple and the wise!
Rejoice! Scholar and Teacher of the Aleutian languages!
Rejoice! Preserver of Alaska's ancient heritage!
Rejoice! Dispeller of the darkness of ignorance!
Rejoice! Perceptive observer of the wonders of Creation!
Rejoice! Messenger of the Good News of Salvation!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 6

Having created a written language for the Native people, you developed textbooks for them so that they could become literate. Reading the Word of God in their own tongue, and giving thanks to God, the Aleuts sang with joy: Alleluia!

Ikos 6

O Holy Father, you traveled beyond the limits of your own extensive district into the land of the Eskimo people.
You brought to the natives of Bristol Bay the sanctifying Grace of Holy Baptism.
You made the Nushagak River a new Jordan for them, bringing Christianity to the northern shores of the Bering Sea, where you are remembered today with these words of praise:
Rejoice! Enlightener of the Eskimo Nation!
Rejoice! Sanctification of the Nushagak!
Rejoice! Husbandman sent to the plentiful harvest!
Rejoice! Laborer in the Vineyard of Christ!
Rejoice! Warrior clothed in the armor of Truth!
Rejoice! Soldier armed with the Gospel of Peace and the sword of Prayer!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 7

Using your talents, you erected the first Orthodox Cathedral in the New World, designing the Temple and supervising its construction yourself.
The faithful celebrated the consecration of the new church, singing the hymn of Thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Ikos 7

Transferring the center of your missionary activity to the city of New Archangel, you began anew the evangelization of the Tlingit People.
You became proficient in their language and preached the Gospel in their villages winning converts to Christ by your knowledge of medicine as well as theology.
You admired the nobility of these proud warriors, who together with us offer these praises to you:
Rejoice! Teacher of the Tlingit Indians!
Rejoice! Physician of souls and bodies!
Rejoice! Fearless apostle, protected by God!
Rejoice! Illuminator of the Northern Peoples!
Rejoice! Mountain rising above the clouds of error!
Rejoice! Harbor sheltering from treacherous seas!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 8

You were summoned to appear before the Holy Synod to present your many translations for ecclesiastical approval.
You returned to your homeland by circumnavigating the globe; arriving at St. Petersburg you praised God in song: Alleluia!

Ikos 8

Learning of the repose of your wife, Catherine, during your absence, you prayerfully visited the Holy monasteries at Kiev and Zagorsk in order to discern the Lord's Will.
The Emperor himself, impressed with your apostolic fervor and achievements, approved your levation to the rank of bishop.
Returning to Alaska, you were welcomed with these words:
Rejoice! You took up the Cross and followed Christ!
Rejoice! You first brought the Joy of the Resurrection to Alaska!
Rejoice! You were inspired by the heroic example of St. Innocent of Irkutsk!
Rejoice! You promoted the apostolic labors of St. Nicholas of Japan!
Rejoice! You were among the first to ask the Elder Herman to intercede for you!
Rejoice! By his prayers you arrived safely in Kodiak!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 9

As bishop of the Russian colony, you renewed your efforts to bring the Gospel to all Alaska.
You opened a seminary in Sitka for the training of indigenous clergy and designed a new cathedral for the capital city.
You also constructed the clock for the church bell tower.
When the Holy Temple was completed, you sang out in gratitude to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos 9

As overseer of the huge diocese which included Eastern Siberia as well as Alaska, you dispatched priests to areas where no missionaries had ever gone.
Your own son-in-law as assigned to the Nushagak, while your former student, Father Jacob, set out for the Yukon delta.
Because of your great vision for the future of Orthodoxy in this land, we honor you with these hymns:
Rejoice! Good Shepherd of the Arctic!
Rejoice! First Hierarch of America!
Rejoice! Our guide to the Kingdom of God!
Rejoice! Benefactor of the needy and oppressed!
Rejoice! Your foresight determined the growth of the Church in Alaska!
Rejoice! Your boundless energy established the True Faith in the North!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 10

With characteristic enthusiasm you visited the peoples of the Amur Valley in Siberia and began yet again to study their languages and traditions.
Together with the Aleuts and Tlingits they learned to praise the Almighty Creator with the song of Thanksgiving:
Alleluia!

Ikos 10

Transferring your headquarters to the Far East, you bid farewell to the New World and returned to the Old.
Following the example you had set for them, the Native clergy of Alaska continued your work in America.
Through them we have become your spiritual children and venerate your memory in these words:
Rejoice! Student of Alaskan languages and Teacher of the True Word!
Rejoice! Preacher ‘in tongues’ like the Apostles on Pentecost!
Rejoice! You published the Gospel in the Aleut language!
Rejoice! You founded schools for the enlightenment of the Native Peoples!
Rejoice! You directed the evangelization of Alaska and Siberia!
Rejoice! You planted the seeds of the Orthodox Faith on American soil!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 11

You spent your entire life laboring in remote regions for the propagation of the Holy Faith.
In your later years you were called to yet another great task.
You were elected Metropolitan of Moscow to succeed the venerable Philaret.
As you journeyed across the frozen steppes of Asia en route to your enthronement, you sang in amazement to God:
Alleluia!

Ikos 11

You revitalized the missionary spirit of your homeland by organizing societies for the support of evangelical enterprises.
You assisted your former flocks with your holy prayers and material aid.
We who have benefited from these labors sing to you in gratitude:
Rejoice! You were faithful in little things!
Rejoice! You have been set over much!
Rejoice! Rushing Wind dispelling the fog of ignorance and fear!
Rejoice! Mighty River watering the spiritual wilderness!
Rejoice! Precious Vessel filled with the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice! Adornment of the Church in the Old World and the New!
Rejoice O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 12

With the same humility you exhibited throughout your earthly life, you asked that no eulogies be delivered at your burial.
Instead, you requested an edifying sermon be preached for the benefit of all.
Learning of your falling asleep, your spiritual children commended your soul to the Lord, singing: Alleluia!

Ikos 12

The heirs of your spiritual legacy throughout the New World rejoice today at your glorification, O Holy Father.
Asking for your prayers for the Church in America, we gather to celebrate your remarkable achievements with these words:
Rejoice! Inspiration of Orthodox pastors and teachers!
Rejoice! Indicator of the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven!
Rejoice! Faithful steward in the Household of Faith!
Rejoice! Farsighted Champion of Orthodoxy!
Rejoice! Loving Father of your spiritual Children!
Rejoice! Intercessor for all who come to the Orthodox Faith!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 13

O Holy Father, Bishop Innocent! As we remember all the glorious deeds you so humbly accomplished, we are inspired by your vision, courage and perseverance.
Pray therefore that we may be accounted worthy to continue your work in the New World, and to sing gratefully to the Lord:

Alleluia! (3 times).

Ikos 1

O Holy Father Innocent! Your glory has shone from the Far Eastern lands to the Western world.
From humble origins in a Siberian village you rose to world renown as a modern Apostle.
The Lord chose you to bring the Orthodox Faith to the ancient Peoples of Alaska and Asia, who together with us honor you with these songs of praise:
Rejoice! Imitator of the Apostles and their Successor!
Rejoice! Evangelizer of the Arctic Peoples!
Rejoice! Scholar and Teacher of the Aleuts!
Rejoice! Illuminator of the Eskimos and Indians!
Rejoice! Humble genius whose footsteps were guided by the Lord!
Rejoice! Visionary Architect of the Orthodox Church in America!
Rejoice! O Holy Father Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska!

Kontakion 1—Tone 8

O Holy Father, Good Shepherd of the Flock entrusted to you by the Lord!
You dedicated all your strength and heart, all your mind and soul to Christ!
In the remotest regions you labored tirelessly without thought of earthly reward for the sake of His Holy Church and the salvation of all.
We, the recipients of your great spiritual legacy, offer to you this hymn of praise.
As you stand before the Throne of the Lord of Glory, intercede for our land and its eople!
That united in One Holy, Orthodox Church we may gratefully sing to you:

Rejoice O Holy Father, Metropolitan Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Alaska.

Prayer to Saint Innocent

O Holy Hierarch and Father Innocent!
The Lord chose you and ordained you to go and bring forth much fruit in His new vineyard on the frontiers of Russia and America.
You dedicated your life to building up the Body of Christ in the New World and the Old, and brought the treasures of the Holy Apostolic Faith to Alaska and Siberia.
We, your spiritual children, kneel before your holy icon and ask you to intercede for the Holy Orthodox Church in your adopted and native lands.
As you were humble and kind, help us by your prayers to be patient and generous.
As you persevered under difficult circumstances in a remote and lonely region, strengthen us in our dedication to Christ and His Gospel.
As you loved God and your flock and devoted your life in service to them, pray to Our Lord that our hearts may be filled with love for Him and our neighbor.
You planted the seeds of the Orthodox Faith in Alaskan soil: implore the Lord that we may be accounted worthy to continue the work you so gloriously began, to bring the Light of Christ to every corner of America.
You indicated the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven by your words and example: intercede for the salvation of all of us who venerate your oly memory.

By your holy prayers may we become worthy of the precious spiritual heritage which God has entrusted to us through you, and sing eternally the praises of the Holy, Consubstantial, and Life-Creating Trinity; the Father and Creator who is without Beginning; the Son, Our Lord and Savior who became Man in order to sanctify and save us; and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit who enlightens and enlivens all, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
Amen.

Selected Hymns from the Festal Service to Saint Innocent

Troparion of the Feast—Tone 4

O Holy Father Innocent,
in obedience to the will of God
you accepted dangers and tribulations,
bringing many peoples to the knowledge of truth.
You showed us the path;
now by your prayers help lead us
into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Another Troparion—Tone 2

You evangelized the Northern people of America and Asia,
proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the natives in their own tongues,
O Holy Hierarch, Father Innocent,
Enlightener of Alaska and All America, whose ways were ordered by the Lord.
Pray to Him for the salvation of our souls in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Kontakion of the Feast—Tone 2

Your life is a true celebration of the Providence and Grace of God,
O Holy Father Innocent, the Apostle to our Land.
For in hardships and dangers toiling for the Gospel's sake,
you were preserved unharmed and often delivered,
while from obscurity you were highly exalted as an example to the faithful everywhere,
that the Lord truly guides a man in the way he should go.


About akathist hymns

An akathist (Greek, akathistos) is a hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event, or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. The word akathist itself means "not sitting." The akathist par excellence is that written in the 6th century to the Theotokos. In its use as part of the Salutations to the Theotokos service (used in the Byzantine tradition during Great Lent), it is often known by its Greek or Arabic names, Chairetismoi and Madayeh, respectively.

The writing of akathists (occasionally spelled acathist) continues today as part of the general composition of an akolouthia, especially in the Slavic tradition, although not all are widely known nor translated beyond the original language. Most of the newer akathists are pastiche, that is, a generic form imitating the original 6th century akathist into which a particular saint's name is inserted.

Structure akathist hymns

The Trisagion Prayers are often said as a prelude to the akathist hymn. The akathist hymn itself is divided into thirteen parts, each of which has a kontakion and an oikos. The kontakion usually ends with the exclamation: "Alleluia!" Within the latter part of the oikos comes an anaphoric entreaty, such as "Come!" or "Rejoice!" The thirteenth kontakion (which does not have a corresponding ikos) is usually followed by the repetition of the first ikos and kontakion. After the thirteen kontakia and ikoi, additional prayers are added, such as a troparion and another kontakion. In some akathists, Psalms are also included.

 

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