Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Akathist Hymn to st Nilus , wonderworker of Sora

Copyright Isaac E. Lambertsen. Used by permission.

Akathist hymn
To the Venerable Nilus, Wonderworker of Sora
Whose Memory the Holy Church Celebrates on the 7th of May

Kontakion I


For thee, the chosen conqueror of noetic foes, who spurned the false world and carnal pleasures, and, following the words of the psalmist, sought God in the wilderness, have we composed praises. As thou hast boldness before the Lord, pray thou, O venerable one, in behalf of us who honor thy most sacred memory with faith and love, that we may cry to thee:
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Ikos I

Emulating the life of the angels and patterning thyself on those who were great among the fathers, thou didst cut thyself off wholly from the confusion of the world, and, manfully arming thyself for the struggle of asceticism, didst carefully follow the way of the commandments of God, O blessed one; wherefore, we who honor thy most sacred memory with faith do bless thee with these praises:
Rejoice, O emulator of the life of the angels;
rejoice, follower of the life of the fathers of old!
Rejoice, courageous vanquisher of invisible foes;
rejoice, earnest fulfiller of the commandments of God!
Rejoice, careful preserver of the divinely inspired Traditions of the fathers;
rejoice, codifier of rules for the monastic life of asceticism!
Rejoice, most pure mirror of the virtues;
rejoice, sweet-sounding timbrel of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, image of profound humility;
rejoice, zealous doer of the will of God!
Rejoice, for through thee have we learned to tread the straight path;
rejoice, for through thy mediation for us before God we hope to receive salvation!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion II

Beholding thy humblemindedness more lustrous than gold, we boldly say of thee that thou art truly a disciple of Christ and a fellow heir to His kingdom; wherefore, O most blessed one, trusting that, through thy mediation to Him for us, we shall receive the remission of sins, we cry aloud: Alleluia!

Ikos II

Desiring to enrich thyself with an understanding of the most divine Scriptures, thou didst abide continually in the study thereof, O wise one, whereby thou didst give thy soul to drink of the waters of piety, wherewith thou fillest us also, who with love chant unto thee such things as these:
Rejoice, treasury of divine understanding;
rejoice, granary filled to overflowing with the works of faith!
Rejoice, vine of the Master, heavy laden with His goodly harvest
rejoice, thou who learned to fulfill the will of God!
Rejoice, river overflowing with the water of grace divine;
rejoice, thou who wast vouchsafed to receive the knowledge of the divine Scriptures!
Rejoice, thou who with the water of thy discourses gavest drink unto those who thirsted for salvation;
rejoice, thou who becamest a model of salvation for those who followed thee!
Rejoice, splendid adornment of monks;
rejoice, thou who in thyself showed them the way to salvation!
Rejoice, thou who trained them for victory in the noetic battle;
rejoice, thou who set at nought all the wiles of the enemy!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion III

Girded about with the power of the Most High, thou didst boldly go forth to do battle with the enemy; and contending mightily, thou didst vanquish the captains of the demons, and with the streams of thy tears didst drown the infernal pharaoh, showing thyself as a model of victory for all who desire to follow thee in courageous combat, chanting victoriously unto the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos III

Having within thee exalting humility of mind, thou didst mount to the summit of the virtues; and furnished with wings of divine knowledge, thou didst easily soar above the snares of the enemy; wherefore, thou hast entered the heavenly bridal-chamber with glory, O divinely wise one. And we, marvelling at the height of thy virtuous life, cry aloud with love:
Rejoice, true emulator of the humility of Christ;
rejoice, thou who thereby didst attain unto everlasting rest!
Rejoice, thou who didst obtain wings of humblemindedness and divine knowledge;
rejoice, thou who wast upborne to the heavens by humility and love!
Rejoice, thou who didst arm thyself with the sword of humility and the shield of patience;
rejoice, thou who in lowliness of spirit didst serve Him Who exalteth those of low estate!
Rejoice, thou who didst earnestly emulate Christ Who abased Himself for our sake;
rejoice, thou who for this received great grace from Him!
Rejoice, thou who by meekness and humility didst crush all the snares of the enemy;
rejoice, thou who didst mystically learn to hymn God unceasingly within thy heart!
Rejoice, thou who didst make thy heart a habitation for God;
rejoice, thou who didst offer up unceasing prayers, like incense of sweet savor, unto the Lord Who loved thee!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion IV

Having within me a tempest of vain thoughts, I am unable to lift up my mind to the heights of thy corrections and sing thy praises worthily, O father; yet accept me, who with heartfelt love hymn thee, and mediate salvation for me, who cry: Alleluia!

Ikos IV

Hearkening to thy salvific Traditions and wise instructions, thy disciples joyously hastened after thee, and, guided by thee, came to know lofty and hidden things, chanting to thee in thanksgiving:
Rejoice, thou who transmitted the Traditions of salvation unto thy disciples;
rejoice, thou who clearly indicated to them the goodly path to salvation, and not the path of error!
Rejoice, thou who didst keep the commandments of God with care;
rejoice, thou who didst teach those who followed thee to keep them as well!
Rejoice, thou who didst zealously implement the salvific traditions of the fathers;
rejoice, thou who hast taught us faithfully to follow them!
Rejoice, wise teacher of those who truly desire to live the monastic life;
rejoice, earnest lover of the wonderworking fathers of old!
Rejoice, thou who hast been reckoned among their choir in the mansions of heaven;
rejoice, thou who after thy repose hast been given the gift of miracles!
Rejoice, for through thee do we receive the healing of bodily ailments;
rejoice, for by thy mediation we hope to receive the forgiveness of sins!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion V

Seeing thee as a radiant star shining forth in the wilderness, we rejoice, and, attracted by the brilliance thereof, hastening together we earnestly celebrate thy memory, O venerable one, keeping splendid festival and chanting unto God in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Ikos V

We perceive thee as a radiant lamp shining brightly in the trackless wilderness, for, even though, because of thy humility of mind, thou art covered as with a bushel, yet hast thou not been able to hide, having been set aloft upon the summit of the virtues. Wherefore, illumined by thy miracles, we cry out to thee such things as these:
Rejoice, thou who wast illumined by the light of the threefold Sun;
rejoice, thou who learned wisdom from the Well-spring of wisdom!
Rejoice, thou who by God hast been given the greatly increased talant;
rejoice, thou who hast been shown to be a chosen husbandman of the vineyard of Christ!
Rejoice, thou who most abundantly watered the field of thy soul with tears of compunction;
rejoice, thou who didst produce manifold fruits of the virtues!
Rejoice, flower of paradise which budded forth in the wilderness;
rejoice, thou who perfumest us with the fragrant myrrh of the virtues!
Rejoice, luminary burning brightly in the firmament of the Church of Christ;
rejoice, thou who hast driven away the gloom of ignorance and dark oblivion!
Rejoice, thou who hast made clear to us the understanding of the writings of the fathers;
rejoice, thou who didst manifestly reveal the mysteries hidden in them!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion VI

Thou wast truly a preacher of the truth, O Nilus our ever-memorable father, clearly showing forth the path which leadeth to the kingdom on high, and showing thyself to be a paragon of true monasticism for those who desire to become heirs thereto, teaching them by word and deed to shun the tumults of the world, and ever moving them to chant the divine hymn: Alleluia!

Ikos VI

Since thine honored repose, thou hast shone forth with the light of miracles, appearing in faraway lands and delivering men from bitter captivity, O Nilus our wonder-working father; wherefore, saved by thee from misfortunes, we, thy servants, cry out to thee in thanksgiving:
Rejoice, deliverer of captives;
rejoice, speedy intercessor for those who invoke thine aid!
Rejoice, thou who helpest those in tribulation;
rejoice, thou who all-gloriously freest them from the assault and violence of unclean spirits!
Rejoice, thou who dost transform sorrows and griefs into joy;
rejoice, thou who breakest asunder the insidious snares of the demons!
Rejoice, for thou dost quickly anticipate the need of those who call upon thee;
rejoice, for from divers misfortunes and perils dost thou rescue those who love thee!
Rejoice, thou who givest consolation to those who languish in despondency;
rejoice, thou who drivest away the dark clouds of sorrows!
Rejoice, physician of bodily illnesses;
rejoice, mediator of the good things of heaven!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion VII

When the time came for thee to leave this world and depart unto the Lord, thy disciples, assembling and shedding tears, said: "Leave us not orphaned, O father!" And with them we cry aloud unto thee: "Forget us not, but visit, console and provide for thy servants, who honor thee with love and cry out to God: Alleluia!"

Ikos VII

A new and all-glorious miracle didst thou show forth when, shining with the brilliance of lightning and spreading an ineffable sweet fragrance, thou didst appear to a God-loving man who was held captive, commanding him to paint the likeness of thine image. And we, marvelling thereat, cry out to thee such things as these:
Rejoice, O all-glorious worker of miracles;
rejoice, fulfiller of the good pleasure of God toward men!
Rejoice, thou who thereby didst make know thine own holiness and boldness toward God;
rejoice, thou who through this hast revealed unto us the grace which thou hadst received from God!
Rejoice, thou who by thine appearance brought gladness unto one who languished captive amid sorrow;
rejoice, thou who promised him speedy liberation from captivity!
Rejoice, thou who gavest him the image of thy countenance;
rejoice, thou who didst arrange for him an all-glorious deliverance from captivity!
Rejoice, thou who returned him, rejoicing, to his homeland;
rejoice, for even the angels are astonished by the favor shown thee by God!
Rejoice, for the fame of thy miracles hath gone forth into all the earth;
rejoice, thou who hast amazed all by thine all-glorious wonder-working!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion VIII

Beholding the strange and all-glorious miracle wrought by thee, O Nilus our father most rich, we beseech thee: Entreat God Who worketh miracles through thee, that we also may withdraw from this vain and deceitful world, may sail safely across the deep of life, and, by thy mediation, may attain unto the calm haven, forever chanting in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Ikos VIII

Thou wast wholly full of divine love, O most blessed one; and, in nowise yielding to the love of the flesh and the world, thou didst live out thy life in chastity and holiness like one of the incorporeal beings; wherefore, thou didst receive from God the grace to work all-glorious miracles. For which cause accept these praises, offered unto thee from our zeal:
Rejoice, spacious abode of divine love;
rejoice, dwelling-place of the Holy Trinity!
Rejoice, mighty and valorous conqueror of noetic foes;
rejoice, ally of those who call upon thee for aid in vanquishing them!
Rejoice, citizen of the wilderness;
rejoice, thou who art mighty and wondrous in patience!
Rejoice, great lover of stillness;
rejoice, wise establisher of rules for the solitary monastic life!
Rejoice, guide to salvation for monastics;
rejoice, participant in the choir of the venerable!
Rejoice, for with all the saints thou enjoyest everlasting gladness;
rejoice, for with them thou hast joyously inherited the mansions of heaven!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion IX

All of angelic and human nature marvelled at thy wondrous way of life in the flesh, O Nilus our God-bearing father; for, having fought the fight of asceticism, thou didst finish the race without stumbling. Wherefore, thou hast been invested by God with the crown of righteousness, making thine abode with the choirs of the saints in the mansions on high, ever chanting: Alleluia!

Ikos IX

The speech of those wise according to the flesh was shown to be foolish when the foolish were made wise through the activity of the Holy Spirit and tamed their audacious tongues; wherefore, O God-bearer, not worldly wisdom, but the activity of the Holy Spirit made thee also wise and showed thee to speak eloquently of things divine. And we, fashioning hymnody of praise for thee, chant:
Rejoice, thou who wast given wisdom from on high;
rejoice, splendid receptacle of the knowledge of God!
Rejoice, radiant lamp shining with divine effulgence;
rejoice, thou who wast illumined by the grace of the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, thou who for monastics set down in writing the mystic law;
rejoice, thou who transmitted to them salvific traditions!
Rejoice, mediator of everlasting blessedness;
rejoice, sure instructor of salvation!
Rejoice, guide to the reception of the good things of heaven;
rejoice, thou who shattered the horn of pride!
Rejoice, for by thy supplications for us are we delivered from divers misfortunes;
rejoice, for by thine intercession unto God are we freed from the temptations of the enemy!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion X

Thou wast a true guide for those who desire to be saved, O most blessed father, directing them with the commandments of Christ the Savior and the saving Traditions of the God-bearing fathers. Wherefore, we also, desiring to follow after them, chant with reverence, directed by thy prayers: Alleluia!

Ikos X

Thou wast a bulwark and tower of confirmation for thy disciples, showing forth in thyself a model of courageous struggle, and confirming by deed and word the way whereby they might counter the battle of the enemy mightily. And we who are weak, looking to thee for mediation in our behalf, offer thee this praise, crying:
Rejoice, tower of patience;
rejoice, model of valiant struggle!
Rejoice, brave warrior of the army of Christ;
rejoice, citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem!
Rejoice, thou who sowed tears of compunction on the earth;
rejoice, thou who in the heavens partakest of the fruits of eternal consolation!
Rejoice, thou who endured the afflictions of the wilderness with good cheer;
rejoice, thou who soared aloft from the wilderness to the mansions of paradise!
Rejoice, thou who didst keep vigil in unceasing prayers;
rejoice, thou who didst have thy mind ever uplifted to God!
Rejoice, thou who suffered for Christ in the mortification of the flesh;
rejoice, thou who wast vouchsafed divine glory by Him!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion XI

Accept us who offer thee hymnody of praise, O father, and deliver us from the tyranny of the passions and the storm of evil thoughts; for thee have we, thy servants, acquired as a helper, a fervent intercessor and advocate before God for us who hope, through thee, to receive deliverance and salvation from evils, and who cry: Alleluia!

Ikos XI

O blessed one, Christ hath shown thee to be a radiant beacon for monastics, enlightening us with the immaterial fire of the virtues and illumining with beams of humility of mind and shining with the effulgence of miracles upon us who cry out to thee such things as these:
Rejoice, radiant beacon of monastics;
rejoice, shining lamp of ascetics!
Rejoice, brilliant star shining with the light of the Trinity;
rejoice, thou who dost share in the never-waning light!
Rejoice, rain-laden cloud who poured forth torrents of tears;
rejoice, thou who with lightning-flashes of grace dost illumine those who love thee!
Rejoice, thou who affrighted the enemy as with claps of thunder;
rejoice, thou who drowned them with the downpours of thy tears!
Rejoice, thou who calmly reached the end of thy life in humility;
rejoice, thou who for all wast an image of Christ-like meekness!
Rejoice, thou who hast shone forth miracles since thy repose;
rejoice, thou who with power hast shone forth the loftiness of thy manner of life!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion XII

As Master and Lord of all, the great Bestower of gifts desired to give thee grace and to show thee forth on earth as all-glorious; and He hath likewise glorified thee in heaven, enriching thee with the gift of miracles. He hath sanctified and glorified thee, and taught us to chant in thanksgiving for thee the hymn: Alleluia!

Ikos XII

Hymning thy corrections, struggles and battles, thy profound humility of mind and thine honored passing from earth to heaven, we praise also the grace of miracles which thou hast received from God, Who hath sanctified and glorified thee, and hath taught us to cry out to thee:
Rejoice, thou who hast finished well the course of ascetic struggles;
rejoice, thou who hast inherited the all-joyous abode of paradise!
Rejoice, thou who shone with the brilliance of the virtues on earth;
rejoice, thou who in the heavens hast received the reward for thy manifold labors!
Rejoice, splendid adornment of the wilderness;
rejoice, thou who wast vouchsafed to behold most gladsome joy!
Rejoice, most luminous mirror of the monastic life;
rejoice, bulwark and mighty rampart for us who love thee, against the assaults of the adversary!
Rejoice, for through thee do we avoid divers temptations;
rejoice, for through thine intercession before God for us do we find speedy aid amid divers misfortunes!
Rejoice, bestower of bodily health;
rejoice, mediator of salvation for our souls!
Rejoice, O venerable Nilus, wonderworker of Sora!

Kontakion XIII

O our most blessed and venerable father Nilus, accept from us this hymnody offered thee with love, and deliver us from divers misfortunes, perils and the torment which is to come, that by thy mediation we may be vouchsafed to chant eternally with thee to the triune God this hymn of thanksgiving: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

This kontakion is read thrice, whereupon Ikos I and Kontakion I are repeated.

Prayer I to the Venerable Nilus of Sora

O our most venerable father Nilus, accept this hymn of praise, which is offered to thee with faith and love, and, mercifully bowing down from the heights of heaven, as a solicitous father entreat the Lord and Master of all creation, that He grant forgiveness of sins, amendment of life, and a peaceful Christian end, untroubled by the spirits of evil, unto those who honor thee. At that time stand thou forth, O most blessed father, driving the fear of death away from thy children who love thee, and easing the separation of their souls from their bodies and their passage through the dread way-stations. And by thy mighty supplication and merciful intercession before the Lord for us, vouchsafe that on the day of the dread judgment we may receive a place on the right hand with all who have pleased God. Amen.

Prayer II to the Venerable Nilus

O venerable father Nilus, blessed of God, our divinely wise instructor and teacher! Having withdrawn from the turmoil of the world for the sake of GodΉs love, thou didst choose to make thine abode in the trackless wilderness and impenetrable forests. And having increased the children of the wilderness like a right fruitful branch, thou didst show thyself to them as an image of every monastic virtue by word, writing and manner of life. And having lived on earth like an angel in the flesh, thou now dwellest in the mansions of heaven, where the cry of those who keep festival is unceasing, and, standing with the choirs of saints before God, thou dost continually offer up praises and glorification unto Him. We beseech thee, O thou who art blessed of God: Instruct us also who live under thy protection, that we may follow in thy steps without wavering; that we may love the Lord God with all our heart, please Him alone and think of Him alone, manfully and skillfully trampling underfoot those thoughts which drag us down, and may ever vanquish the assaults of the enemy; that we may love all the restraints of the monastic life, and come to hate the beautiful things of this world out of love for Christ, and plant in our hearts every virtue wherein thou didst labor. Entreat Christ God, that He illumine the minds and hearts of all Orthodox Christians who dwell in the world, that they may see salvation, that He establish them in faith and piety, and in the doing of His commandments, protect them from the deception of this world, and grant unto them and to us remission of sins, and bestow upon them, according to His true promise, all things they need for this transitory life. Yea, let those who abide in the wilderness and in the world live a life of inner stillness, in all piety and honor, and glorify Him with mouth and heart, together with His unoriginate Father and His all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

(I would like to express my appreciation to The Saint John of Kronstadt Press for their kindness in allowing me to use the following copyrighted materials. I would also like to thank Isaac E. Lambertsen for his scholarship and generosity in that regard.

These liturgical materials are provided courtesy of The Saint John of Kronstadt Press, which offers a large selection of liturgical materials. For more information CLICK HERE. )

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