Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Service of Saint Nilus Sorski

Copyright Isaac E. Lambertsen. Used by permission.

The 7th Day of the Month of May
Commemoration of Our Venerable Father Nilus,
Wonderworker of Sora

At Little Vespers

On "Lord, I have cried..."4 stichera, in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: "Thou hast given a sign..."-

Having assembled in gladness today for thy memorial, O divinely wise Nilus our father, we make haste to hymn thy struggles, fasting and vigils, and the instruction of thy writings, whereby thou didst water thy soul, O blessed one, and cause it to produce the most fruitful grain of the virtues.

Who is able to describe the height of thy corrections and the unfathomable abyss of thy humility, O venerable and ever-memorable Nilus? For thou didst shine forth like a beacon in the land of Russia, illumining the councils of monastics with the radiance of thy virtues.

Thou wast truly a lover of stillness, O ever-memorable father, and a most excellent denizen of the wilderness, and wast like unto a tree planted by streams of water, giving forth its fruit in due season; for thou pourest forth healings upon those who with faith call upon thy name and with love honor thy most sacred struggles.

To thy children, O father, thou didst leave the record of thy words like divinely inscribed tablets, graven by the finger of God on thy heart upon the mountain of divine contemplation; wherefore, we honor thee and celebrate thy holy feast, glorifying thee who glorified Jesus, the Savior of our souls, Who loveth mankind.

Glory..., in Tone VI-

O our venerable father Nilus, thou truly gavest neither sleep to thine eyes nor rest to thy flesh, until thou didst prepare within thee a place for the Lord and a habitation for the God of Jacob; wherefore, thou didst enter, rejoicing, into His courts, where is the abode of all who keep festival. O ever-memorable father, cease thou never to pray for us who with faith and love piously celebrate thy most sacred memory.

Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.
At the aposticha, these stichera, in Tone II: Spec. Mel.: "O house of Ephratha..."-

O divinely wise Nilus, * accept thou thy servants * who with love celebrate * thy most sacred memory, * O father.

Stichos: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Assembling now with faith, * for thy memorial, O father, * we bless thee with love, * magnifying Him * Who hath glorified thee.

Stichos: The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.

Accept now the hymnody * of thy children, O venerable one, * who joyously celebrate * at thine honored memorial, * O divinely wise Nilus our father.

Glory..., Now & ever..., in the same tone & melody-

Accept the supplications * of thy servants, O Mistress, * and entreat thy Son, * with the divinely wise Nilus, * that He grant us forgiveness of sins.

Troparion, in Tone I-

Having spurned the worldly life, O our venerable and God-bearing father Nilus, fleeing the tumult of life thou wast quick to gather the flowers of paradise from the writings of the fathers, and, having made thine abode in the wilderness, thou didst flourish like a lily of the field; wherefore, thou hast passed over to the mansions of heaven. Teach us who honor thee also to tread thy royal path, and pray thou for our souls.

Glory..., Now & ever...: Troparion from the Pentecostarion.

At Great Vespers

After the Introductory Psalm, we chant "Blessed is the man...", the first antiphon.

On "Lord, I have cried...", 8 stichera: 3 from the Pentecostarion, and 5 of the venerable one, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: "Having set all aside..."-

Having set aside passionate attachment to the world, O venerable one, and taken thy cross upon thy shoulder, with pure and tranquil mind thou didst follow after Christ; and living in the wilderness as in paradise, thou didst please Him, dwelling on earth like one of the incorporeal ones, didst slay the passions by fasting, prayer and standing full nights in prayer, and didst unite thyself unto God by silence and divine contemplation. Him do thou entreat in behalf of our souls. Twice

Having lived a calm and tranquil life, secluding thyself in a place of stillness, thou didst converse with God in unceasing prayer; and by the study of divine writings thou didst abundantly water the field of thy heart as with the rain of grace, O divinely wise one: wherefore, thou wast shown to be the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, and didst bring forth fruit an hundredfold. O venerable and ever-memorable father Nilus, pray thou continually to the Lord in behalf of our souls.

Treading the path of the commandments of Christ without straying, thou wast a careful observer of the divinely wise traditions of the fathers, O venerable and ever-memorable Nilus our father, and with them thou wast shown to be an establisher of monastic rule and the founder of the monastic life of sketes in the Russian land; and thou didst leave thy divinely wise words and traditions like tablets of the covenant unto those who desire to follow thy life, O father. Wherefore, we beseech thee, O venerable one: Pray thou earnestly unto Christ in behalf of our souls.

Wounded with love for Christ, O venerable one, thou didst continually bear in thy mind His salvific sufferings, and didst show thyself to be an excellent emulator thereof, through ascetic feats crucifying thy flesh with its passions and lusts; and with a coarse hair-shirt and a harsh way of life thou didst make the intransigent flesh subject to thy rational soul. Wherefore, we beseech thee, O ever-memorable Nilus our father, beloved of God: Earnestly entreat Christ in behalf of our souls.

Glory..., in Tone VIII-

We honor thee, the instructor of the monastic life of sketes, O Nilus our father, for by thy path we have truly learned how to walk aright in the stillness of the wilderness; for, showing us this way of life by words and deeds, thou didst set thyself before us as an animate model. Truly blessed art thou, for thou didst teach by example, and, in the words of the Lord, art called great in the kingdom of heaven: for, having labored industriously and rent asunder all the power, wiles and snares of the enemy, as though they were a spider's web, thou wast shown to be a victor in all things, and hast hastened, crowned, unto Christ, rejoicing. Him do thou entreat, O venerable one, in behalf of all who with faith celebrate thy most sacred memory, that we be granted forgiveness of sins and great mercy.

Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. Three Readings:

A Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah

Be glad, thou thirsty desert; let the wilderness exult, and flower like the lily. And the desert of Jordan shall blossom and rejoice: the glory of Lebanon hath been given unto it, and the honor of Carmel. And my people shall see the glory of the Lord and the majesty of God. Be ye strengthened, O paralytic hands and enfeebled knees. Comfort one another, ye fainthearted; be strong, fear not; behold, our God doth render judgment, and He will render it; He shall come and save us. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. Then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the stammerers shall speak plainly: for water hath burst forth in the desert, and a channel of water in a thirsty land. And the dry land shall become pools, and a fountain of water shall be poured into the thirsty land; there shall there be a joy of birds, ready habitations of reeds and meadows. There shall be there a pure way, and it shall be called a holy way; and there shall not pass by there any unclean person, neither shall there be there an unclean way; but the dispersed shall walk on it, and they shall not go astray. And there shall be no lion there, neither shall any evil beast go up upon it, nor at all be found there; but the delivered shall walk in it, and those gathered on the Lord's behalf shall return and come to Sion with joy, and everlasting joy shall be over their head; for on their head shall be praise and gladness, and joy shall take possession of them: sorrow and pain, and groaning have fled away.

A Reading from Proverbs

The memory of the just is praised, and the blessing of the Lord is upon his head. Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who knoweth prudence. For it is better to traffic for her, than for treasures of gold and silver. And she is more valuable than precious stones: no precious thing is equal to her in value. For length of existence and years of life are in her right hand; and in her left hand are wealth and glory: out of her mouth righteousness proceedeth, and she carrieth law and mercy upon her tongue. Hearken to me, O children, for I will speak solemn truths. Blessed is the man who shall keep my ways; for my outgoings are the outgoings of life, and in them is prepared favor from the Lord. Ye, O men, do I exhort; and utter my voice to the sons of men. I, wisdom, have built up; upon counsel, knowledge and understanding have I called. Counsel and safety are mine; prudence is mine, and strength is mine. I love those that love me; they that seek me shall find grace. O ye simple, understand subtlety, and ye that are untaught, imbibe knowledge. Hearken unto me again; for I will speak solemn truths. For my throat shall meditate truth; and false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing in them wrong or perverse. They are all evident to those that understand, and right to those that find knowledge. For I will instruct you in truth, that your hope may be in the Lord, and ye may be filled with the Spirit.

A Reading from Proverbs

The mouth of the righteous droppeth wisdom: but the tongue of the unjust shall perish. The lips of just men drop grace: but the mouth of the ungodly is perverse. False balances are an abomination before the Lord: but a just weight is acceptable unto Him. Wherever pride entereth, there will also disgrace: but the mouth of the humble doth meditate wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the overthrow of the rebellious shall spoil them. Possessions shall not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness will deliver from death. When a just man dieth, he leaveth regret: but the destruction of the ungodly is speedy and causeth joy. Righteousness traceth out blameless paths: but ungodliness encountereth unjust dealing. The righteousness of upright men delivereth them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope doth not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perisheth. A righteous man escapeth from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. In the mouth of ungodly men is a snare for citizens: but the understanding of righteous men is prosperous. In the prosperity of righteous men a city prospereth, but at the destruction of the wicked there is exultation. At the blessing of the upright a city shall be exalted, but by the mouths of ungodly men it is overthrown. A man void of understanding sneereth at his fellow citizens: but a sensible man is quiet.

At Litia, the sticheron of the temple, and these stichera idiomela of the venerable one-

In Tone I: On the right eminent day of our festival let us sound the spiritual trumpet, rejoicing in spirit and celebrating with splendor the most holy and most honorable memory of our father; and let us cry out to him with love, saying: Rejoice, O our pastor and teacher, our ever-memorable father Nilus, most radiant beacon of monastics! Earnestly entreat Christ Whom thou didst diligently serve, O father, in behalf of us who honor thee with faith and love.

In Tone IV: Today with sacred hymns we crown the most sacred memory of our father as with blossoms, weaving wreaths of praise, lovingly glorifying his most sacred struggles, and crying out to him in gladness: Rejoice, most comely flower of monastics who sprang forth in the vales of the wilderness and adorned the region of the White Lake with the assemblies of thy good disciples! Rejoice, O right fruitful tree planted, as saith the psalm, by streams of water, and feeding the multitudes of monastics with the fruits of thy corrections and thy divinely wise writings! Rejoice, priceless phial of the ointment of asceticism which perfumeth the Church of Christ! O Nilus our all-blessed and ever-memorable father, cease thou never to pray to the Lord in our behalf, that He deliver us from all harm and save our souls.

Come, ye assemblies of those who love the feasts of the Church! Come, rejoice with us, and, forming a choir, let us celebrate! For, lo! today hath dawned the most festive and luminous memorial of the God-bearing father, the radiant beacon of the world, our most desired pastor and teacher and guide to salvation, the fervent intercessor for us all: for he prayeth continually to the Lord, that all be granted great mercy.

Glory..., in Tone VI-

Thou didst preserve intact that which is according to the image of Christ, making thy mind master over the pernicious passions through asceticism, and as far as thou wast able thou didst ascend to the summit of the virtues, following the likeness of the Savior; for, manfully doing violence to thy nature, thou didst strive to make that which is worse subject to that which is higher, and to enslave the flesh to the spirit. Wherefore, thou didst show thyself to be a guide for monastics, a dweller in the wilderness, a trainer of those who truly run the good race, and a most excellent rule of the virtues; and now, since the reflections have been abolished in the heavens, O Nilus our ever-memorable father, thou dost gaze in purity upon the Holy Trinity, ever praying for all who honor thee with faith and love.

Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

At the aposticha, these stichera, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: "O ye angelic hosts..."-

The angelic hosts of heaven marvelled at thy way of life, O venerable one, for, while yet in the flesh, thou didst vanquish the incorporeal foe, and, given wings by fasting and prayer, soaring beyond the flesh and the world in divine contemplation, thou didst attain thine utmost goal, crying aloud in joy unto Christ: Glory to Thee, O our Savior!

Stichos: Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness.
Fleeing the world, thou didst withdraw into the wilderness, as it is written in the psalms, and having there made thine abode, thou didst find God Who saveth thee, O venerable one; and having found Him, thou didst hold Him within thee: for Christ, coming unto thee with the Father and the Holy Spirit, dwelt within thee. Wherefore, we also, celebrating thy memory, joyously cry out: Blessed art Thou Who art glorified in the saints! Glory to Thee, O our Savior!

Stichos: Unto God have I cried, and the Lord hearkened unto me.

In prayer and steadfastness of mind didst thou unceasingly cry unto God, O venerable one, and He truly hearkened unto thee; wherefore, thou dwelt on earth, like one of the incorporeal beings thou didst mortify the passions by abstinence, and with thy profound humility of mind didst wound the prideful devil, crying aloud unto Christ in victory: O our blessed Savior Who came down and saved us, glory be to Thee!

Glory..., idiomelon, in Tone VI-

Joyfully assembling today, O brethren, and forming a spiritual choir, let us hold splendid festival, and with divine hymns let us honor the annual memorial of the God-bearing father, our pastor and teacher: let us crown his sacred head with praises, as with flowers, and, surrounding his most precious shrine, let us cry aloud, saying: Rejoice, O right eloquent Nilus, who with the outpouring of thy discourse dost gladden the councils of monastics! Rejoice, O radiant beacon of monks! Rejoice, O adornment and confirmation of fasters! Come thou now among us invisibly, and bless thy children, vouchsafing the immaterial gifts which thou hast received from Christ in abundance unto us who honor thee with faith and love and all-joyously celebrate thy most honored and luminous feast. Deliver us from the tyranny of the passions and from all tribulations and evil circumstances, preserve thy community unharmed, and by thy supplications to the Lord grant us all things which are profitable.

Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

At the blessing of the loaves, the troparion of the venerable one, twice, in Tone I-

Having spurned the worldly life, O our venerable and God-bearing father Nilus, fleeing the tumult of life thou wast quick to gather the flowers of paradise from the writings of the fathers, and, having made thine abode in the wilderness, thou didst flourish like a lily of the field; wherefore, thou hast passed over to the mansions of heaven. Teach us also who honor thee to tread thy royal path, and pray thou for our souls.

And the troparion from the Pentecostarion, once.

At Matins

On "God is the Lord...", the troparion of the saint, twice; Glory..., Now & ever...: the troparion from the Pentecostarion.

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this sedalion, in Tone I-

Diligently assembling today, O brethren, let us form a spiritual choir in honor of the memory of our father, and, fashioning hymns and goodly praises for him, let us reverently honor his spiritual struggles, victories and conflicts, whereby he vanquished the most crafty foe and was splendidly crowned as victor by Christ God, the Savior of our souls.

Glory..., Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this sedalion, in Tone III-

Celebrating today a splendid festival, O brethren, let us hymn Christ our Deliverer, offering Him praise and crying aloud: Thou hast magnified Thy favored one, O Christ, showing him to be a well-spring of miracles; for he poureth forth a stream of healings from his holy grave upon those who have recourse to him with faith and lovingly honor and glorify him and Thee, O Savior, Who dost glorify those who glorify Thee.

Glory..., Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

Polyeleos, and this magnification-

We bless thee, O venerable father Nilus, and we honor thy holy memory, O instructor of monastics and conversor with the angels.

Selected Psalm Verses-
A With patience I waited patiently for the Lord, and He was attentive unto me, and He hearkened unto my supplication. [Ps. 39: 2]
B He set my feet upon a rock, and He ordered my steps aright. [Ps. 39: 3]
A Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness. [Ps. 54: 8]
B I am become like a pelican of the wilderness. [Ps. 101: 7]
A I have watched, and am like a sparrow that sitteth alone upon the housetop. [Ps 101: 8]
B My knees are grown weak through fasting. [Ps. 108: 24]
A And my flesh is changed for want of oil. [Ps. 108: 24]
B With tears will I water my couch. [Ps. 6: 4]
A For many dogs have encircled me, the congregation of evil doers hath surrounded me. [Ps. 21: 17]
B They have bent their bow, a bitter thing. [Ps. 63: 4]
A That they may shoot in secret at the blameless man. [Ps. 63: 4]
B I beheld the Lord ever before me, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. [Ps. 15: 8]
A All the nations compassed me round about, and by the name of the Lord I warded them off. [Ps. 117: 10]
B Blessed be the Lord Who hath not given us to be a prey to their teeth. [Ps. 123: 6]
A Let all Thy works, O Lord, give praise to Thee. [Ps. 144: 10]
B And let the righteous ones bless Thee. [Ps. 144: 10]
A Know also that the Lord hath made wondrous His righteous one. [Ps. 4: 4]
B He hath labored forever, and shall live to the end. [Ps. 48: 9-10]
A The Lord preserveth the souls of His saints. [Ps. 96: 10]
B The saints shall boast in glory and shall rejoice upon their beds. [Ps. 149: 5]
A Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. [Ps. 115: 6]
B Chant unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. [Ps. 29: 5]
Glory..., Now & ever...
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Glory to Thee, O God! Thrice

After the Polyeleos, this sedalen in Tone IV-

Thou hast filled us with wonder, O Master Christ, showing us such a luminary in our father; for, emitting rays of miracles like the sun, he illumineth the assemblies of the faithful and enlighteneth the councils of monastics with the splendor of his life. Wherefore, we lovingly cry out to him: O God-bearing and most blessed Nilus our father, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy most honored memory.

Glory..., Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

Song of Ascents, the first antiphon of Tone IV

Prokimenon, in Tone IV-
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Stichos: What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto me?

Let every breath praise the Lord.

Gospel according to St. Luke, § 24

[Lk. 6: 17-23].

At that time, Jesus stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judζa and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all. And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said: "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven."

After Psalm 50, this sticheron, in Tone VI-

Joyfully assembling today, O brethren, and forming a spiritual choir, let us hold splendid festival, and with divine hymns let us honor the annual memorial of the God-bearing father, our pastor and teacher: let us crown his sacred head with praises, as with flowers, and, surrounding his most precious shrine, let us cry aloud, saying: Rejoice, O right eloquent Nilus, who with the outpouring of thy discourse dost gladden the councils of monastics! Rejoice, O radiant beacon of monks! Rejoice, O adornment and confirmation of fasters! Come thou now among us invisibly, and bless thy children, vouchsafing the immaterial gifts which thou hast received from Christ in abundance unto us who honor thee with faith and love and all-joyously celebrate thy most honored and luminous feast. Deliver us from the tyranny of the passions and from all tribulations and evil circumstances, preserve thy community unharmed, and by thy supplications to the Lord grant us all things profitable.

Canon from the Pentecostarion, with 6 troparia, including the irmos; and that of the venerable one, with 8 troparia, in Tone IV-

Ode I

Irmos: I will open my mouth, and with the Spirit will it be filled; and I shall utter discourse unto the Queen and Mother, and shall appear, keeping splendid festival; and, rejoicing, I will hymn her wonders.

Covered over by the darkness of sin, I am unable to gaze clearly toward the height of thy corrections, O father; but as thou art compassionate and merciful, help me, shining the light of salvation into my soul, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thy splendid corrections and all-glorious miracles.
Thou hast been shown to be a noetic garden of paradise, O father, producing divers flowers of the virtues; and thou didst offer beautiful fruits to thy Master, Who hath adorned thee with miracles.

Having broken but a single commandment, the first-created man was driven from paradise; but thou, O venerable one, hast by the keeping of the commandments of the Master been shown to be the heir thereof, delighting ever in the tree of life; and, gazing upon the Lord in the gladness of thy pure heart, thou sharest in His divine light.

Following the paths of the commandments without wavering, and holding the Cross of Christ in thy hand as a staff of power, thou didst attain unto the haven of dispassion, O father; wherefore, thou didst also receive the grace to heal the infirmities of men and to work all-glorious miracles.

Theotokion: Now is the time for thee to help us, O Mistress! Mercifully regard the affliction of thy servant, O pure one, granting me consolation, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thy divine wonders.

Katavasia from the Pentecostarion.

Ode III

Irmos: O Theotokos, thou living and abundant fountain: in thy divine glory establish those who hymn thee and spiritually form themselves into a choir; and vouchsafe unto them crowns of glory.

Without being prideful, I have dared to offer hymnody to thy sacred memory, O father. Therefore, moved by thy love, O thou who art beloved of God, accept it from thy servant, and by thy mediations before the Lord vouchsafe unto me salvation.

O father, from misfortunes and evil circumstances save those who honor thee with love, forming themselves into a choir for thine honored memorial; by thine entreaties make us firm who have been shaken by the tempest of the passions, and vouchsafe that we may reach the harbor of salvation.

Who can describe thy struggles, O father; who can recount the height of thy humility? Truly thou wast a disciple of Christ, O thou who art beloved of God, and a fellow heir to His kingdom. Wherefore, be thou mindful of thy children, O father, praying to Christ, that He vouchsafe unto us also the portion of the saved.

Useless am I and altogether unprofitable; and I am at a loss how fittingly to hymn thy directions toward God. Yet accept thou my love and faith, O kind-hearted father, and by thy sacred mediations vouchsafe unto me salvation.

Theotokion: Truly every human tongue is at a loss how to glorify thee as is meet, O Mistress. What then shall I, who am beset by ignorance and many sins, offer unto thee, O good one? Yet accept thou the love and faith of thy servant, and vouchsafe unto me salvation.

Kontakion & Ikos from the Pentecostarion.

Sedalion of the venerable one, in Tone VIII-

Thou didst mount from action to the summit of divine vision, O father, and, having embraced utter stillness, thou didst ever converse with God with a mind untroubled; wherefore, thou wast enriched by divine understandings therefrom, O blessed one, and hast become a pastor and guide for those who follow thine angelic way of life. Therefore, O Nilus our God-bearing father, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.

Glory..., Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

Ode IV

Irmos: Seated in glory upon the throne of the Godhead, Jesus most divine hath come on a light cloud, and with His incorrupt arm hath saved those who cry: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Standing vigilantly on attentive watch, and foreseeing the insidious snares of the enemy, O father, thou didst bring down all their hordes, and soaring aloft unharmed, through prayer and fasting, thou didst chant victoriously: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Having the sufferings of our Savior and His voluntary crucifixion on the Cross ever in thy mind, thou wast crucified with Him in the mortification of thy flesh, O venerable one; and thy heart, wounded by divine love, O thou who art beloved of God, was shown to be a well-spring of compunction, ever pouring forth tears and chanting: Glory to Thy compassionate condescension, O Christ!

Wounded by the love of Christ, thou didst unceasingly shed torrents of tears from thine eyes, O Nilus our ever-memorable father; and, dwelling in the wilderness as in the garden of paradise, thou didst offer up incessant supplications, ever chanting: Glory to Thy power, O Christ!

Alas! with what insensitivity am I plagued! Guilty as I am of every evil, I neither fear death nor tremble before the dread judgment! Yet do thou henceforth come to thy senses in repentance, O most passionate soul, crying aloud unto Christ: Have pity on me, O Savior, for the sake of Nilus Thy favored one, and guide my steps aright with Thine omnipotent power, O Master!

Theotokion: O Virgin Theotokos, true hope of all Christians, who gavest birth to the Life of all: grant life unto me who am dead in soul. O Life-bearing well-spring, give me to drink the waters of compunction, for I am cruelly consumed by the burning heat of the passions, that, cooled by tears of repentance, I may cry out in thanksgiving: Glory to thine almighty power, O Mistress!

Ode V

Irmos: All things are filled with awe at thy divine glory; for thou, O Virgin who hast not known wedlock, didst contain within thy womb Him Who is God over all, and gavest birth to the timeless Son, granting peace unto all who hymn thee.

Emulating the way of life of the ancient fathers of the Holy Mountain, O ever-memorable Nilus our God-bearing father, thou didst hasten, rejoicing, to the tranquility of the stillness of the wilderness; and there, bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit in humility, thou wast exceeding well-pleasing to Him Who enriched thee with the glory of miracles.

Fulfilling the commandments of the Lord, O father, thou wast meek and guileless, humble and simple, and right skillful in all the virtues; wherefore, thou wast shown to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, O all-wise one, teaching and instructing thy children to walk worthily in the steps of Christ, Who granteth salvation unto those who serve Him in humility.

O venerable Nilus, receiving the reward of thy labors in the heavens, forget us not who joyously celebrate thy feast, but ask for us the remission of sins, entreating Christ Who granteth salvation unto those who glorify those who have glorified Him.

Thou didst clothe thyself in Christ, O divinely wise one, adorning thyself with the vesture of dispassion; and thou wast compassionate and merciful unto those who sinned, O father, teaching them with humility of mind, urging them on to repentance and leading them to Christ, Who granteth salvation unto all who ask it in humility.

Theotokion: Wretch that I am, I have clothed myself in garments of shame, having shed the divinely woven raiment I received at baptism, O most immaculate Virgin, Yet do I beseech thee, O most merciful one: Clothe me again in the vesture of salvation, that I may be worthy to attend the wedding-banquet of the Lamb, for Whom thou didst weave a royal robe of thy pure blood, and Who granteth salvation unto all who hymn thee.

Ode VI

Irmos: Celebrating this divine and most honored festival of the Mother of God, come, ye divinely wise, let us clap our hands and glorify God Who was born of her.

Dwelling now with the choirs of the saints in the mansions of heaven, O God-bearing Nilus, and standing with boldness before the all-holy Trinity, forget not us, thy children, O father, but ask remission of sins for those who celebrate thy feast with joy, that with thanksgiving we may glorify God Who hath glorified thee.

Thou wast shown to be a new and goodly well-spring flowing in the land of Russia, pouring forth streams of healing from thy holy grave upon those who with unwavering faith have recourse unto thee, O Nilus our father; and, full of gladness, we glorify God Who glorifieth thee.

From thy youth even unto thine honored repose thou didst earnestly serve Christ with a pure conscience, O venerable one, keeping His divine commandments; for, guarding thyself with poverty and non-acquisitiveness, O wise Nilus our father, thou didst set thy feet firmly upon the rock of patience.

O thy manifold corrections and thy labors and struggles for God, O father! Who can describe thy fasting and keeping of vigils, thy lying upon the ground and patient endurance of ill treatment? For thou didst truly show thyself to be a true monk, O thou who art beloved of God. Wherefore, lovingly honoring thy memory, we glorify God Who strengthened thee.

Theotokion: O all-immaculate Virgin, thy womb, which contained the uncontainable God, was shown to be far more spacious than the heavens! O the all-glorious things! O He Who in thee wrought a mystery beyond the comprehension of angels and men! Wherefore, truly confessing thee to be the Theotokos, we glorify God Who was born of thee.

Kontakion of the venerable one, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: "To thee, the champion leader..."-

Fleeing from the tumult of the world for the sake of Christ's love, with joyous soul thou didst make thine abode in the wilderness, and struggling well therein, O father Nilus, thou didst live on earth like an angel; for thou didst lay waste to thy body through fasting and the keeping of vigils for the sake of everlasting life. And having been counted worthy thereof, standing with the saints before the all-holy Trinity in the light of ineffable joy, pray thou, -we, thy children, beseech thee, falling prostrate, -that we be preserved from every assault of enemies visible and invisible, and from evil circumstances, and that our souls be saved.

Ikos: Emulating the life of the angels and likening thyself to those who were great among the fathers, thou didst cut thyself off wholly from the turmoil of the world and, manfully arming thyself for the struggles of asceticism, thou didst carefully tread the path of the commandments of God, O blessed one. Wherefore, honoring thy sacred memory with faith, we bless thee with these praises: Rejoice, emulator of the life of the angels; rejoice, heir to the way of life of the great fathers of old! Rejoice, courageous vanquisher of invisible enemies; rejoice, diligent keeper of the commandments of God! Rejoice, ardent lover of the divinely inspired traditions of the fathers; rejoice, recorder of rules for the ascetic life of monastics! Rejoice, most clear mirror of the virtues; rejoice, melodious instrument of the Holy Spirit! Rejoice, paragon of profound humility; rejoice, zealous doer of godly works! Rejoice, for through thee have we learned to tread the way of life without wandering; rejoice, for through thy mediation for us do we hope to receive salvation! Rejoice, O wonder-working Nilus our father!

Ode VII

Irmos: The divinely wise youths worshiped not a creation rather than the Creator, but, manfully trampling the threat of the fire underfoot, they rejoice, chanting: Blessed art Thou, the all-hymned God of our fathers!

O father, I earnestly offer thee simple hymnody; wherefore, accept it from me who am unworthy, and spurn me not who have sinned beyond all others, O all-blessed one; but, mercifully inclining thyself, vouchsafe that through thine intercession I may receive salvation, that, rejoicing, I may chant: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Thou didst unceasingly converse with God face to face, O father, offering pure supplications unto Him with a pure and untroubled mind and a clean conscience, O divinely wise one; for, hastening from action to vision, thou didst wholly attain the vision of God, O blessed one, ever chanting: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Thou didst show thyself to be a fertile garden producing the fruits of the Spirit, O father; for thou wast full to overflowing with love and joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness and temperance, and as one truly belonging to Christ, thou didst crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts, ever chanting: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Accept me who hymn thee not with wisdom, but with love, O father, and, driving away from me the darkness of oblivion and ignorance by thy luminous supplication, help me ever to cry: O all-hymned Lord God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Theotokion: Turn me not away who flee beneath thy shelter, O Mistress, but as thou art most merciful, save thy poor servant, delivering me from my boundless offenses, that, rejoicing, I may chant: O Mother of the all-hymned Lord and God of our fathers, blessed art thou forever!

Ode VIII

Irmos: The birthgiving of the Theotokos saved the pious children in the furnace-then in figure, but now in deed-and it moveth all the world to chant to Thee: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

O ever-memorable Nilus our father, beloved of God, thou didst truly lead a good and beautiful life; for fleeing turmoil and withdrawing into the solitude of the wilderness, thou didst sow the tribulations of fasting with tears, but now, rejoicing, dost reap the grain of everlasting life.

Thou didst labor in secret for the one God Who knoweth things hidden, O father, passing through the ascetic contest in humility; and after thy repose thou wast revealed and illumined by miracles, moving the faithful to chant: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

By the divine grace within thee thou pourest forth healings and drivest away evil spirits from those who have recourse to thee with faith, O most blessed Nilus; wherefore, we lovingly honor thy most sacred memory, chanting with gladness: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Theotokion: Hearken, O Mistress, to the pain-wracked sighing of thy servant, pulling asunder the chains of mine offenses; change my grief into joy and quickly transform my pangs, that, rejoicing, I may hymn thee, O pure Virgin, and exalt thee supremely for all ages.

Ode IX

Irmos: Let every mortal leap for joy, enlightened by the Spirit; and let the nature of the incorporeal intelligences keep festival, honoring the sacred feast of the Mother of God, and let them cry aloud: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Thou hast been shown to be an all-radiant beacon for thy native land, O venerable and blessed one, illumining our habitations with thy brilliance and with the splendors of the miracles whereby thou hast been glorified since thy repose; wherefore, honoring thy radiant memory, we glorify Christ Who doth glorify thee with splendor.

When upon thy death bed thou didst stretch out thy beautiful feet which had trod well the path of salvation, O blessed one, thy disciples, shedding tears, said: "Whither goest thou, O our pastor? O father, to whom dost thou leave thy children, whom, having given birth to them in the Spirit, thou didst nurture with the milk of thy wise instruction?"

"Mingle not weeping with my joy, O my children," thou didst say to them, O thou who art blessed of God, "for in gladness I am departing to receive the crown of righteousness which Christ hath promised to those who love Him, and which ye also must strive to attain, keeping His commandments as well as mine own."

Let thy wilderness also lament with us, O father; for even though it blossomed like a lily, adorned with Thy God-pleasing life, yet, bereft of a good husbandman after thy departure, thorns and thistles have grown rife in it. Fail not to visit thy flock, O father, and do thou thyself shepherd those who magnify thee.

Forget not those who now abide in the place of thine industrious life, O God-bearing Nilus our father, and mediate salvation for those who earnestly offer thee hymnody; for, having acquired thee as an advocate and intercessor before the Lord, O most blessed one, let not us who honor thee with faith, suffer the loss of hope.

Theotokion: Clothe me in the vesture of salvation, O most merciful Mother of God, thou full hope of my salvation, for I place my trust in thee; for thou art a treasury of mercy and savest all who have recourse unto thee. Wherefore, save even me, the accursed, that I may chant in thanksgiving: Rejoice, O most blessed Theotokos, pure Ever-virgin!

Exapostilarion-

With thy struggles thou didst amaze angels and men, O thou who art blessed of God, and didst bring gladness unto God; wherefore, with faith we honor thee, celebrating thy memory, O God-bearing Nilus our father.

Glory..., Now & ever..., exapostilarion from the Pentecostarion.

On the Praises, 4 stichera of the venerable one, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: "O all-glorious wonder..."-

O all-glorious wonder! Among the latter generations a beacon for monastics shone forth: the all-wise Nilus our father; for he poured forth rivers of teaching streaming with gold, and showed himself to be an animate model for those who truly desire to live the monastic life. Through his supplications, O Christ, save Thou our souls, in that Thou alone art compassionate.

O all-glorious wonder! Nilus, our most blessed father, hath been shown to be full of grace divine; for, furnishing his mind with wings to soar aloft unto God, he was shown to be wholly luminous, and though he dwelt in the wilderness, in spirit he made his abode in the heavens. Through his supplications, O Christ, save Thou our souls, in that Thou alone art compassionate.

O all-glorious wonder! Nilus, our venerable father, hath been shown to be a well-spring of miracles; for even after death he poureth forth healings upon those who have recourse to him with faith. Through his supplications, O Christ, heal Thou our sufferings of soul and body, and save us, in that Thou alone art compassionate.

O Nilus our venerable father, truly fleeing the world and making thine abode in the wilderness, like an innocent lamb thou wast nurtured on the green grass of the divine Scriptures, and like an industrious and all-wise bee making the rounds of the flowers of the Spirit, thou didst gather, instead of honey most sweet, the discourses whereby thou dost nourish thy children, O father. Wherefore, assembling today, we bless thee with love, celebrating thy sacred memory and praying that through thee our souls may receive the remission of sins and great mercy.

Glory..., idiomelon, in the same tone-

Joining together today as a spiritual choir, let us rejoice divinely on the most sacred memorial of our father; for, lo! he setteth before us a mystical banquet and drink most sweet: the lofty corrections of his ascetic struggles, which astonish the mind of every man and delight our spiritual senses, and wherewith we are spiritually nourished. Let us therefore hasten to offer him praise with our unworthy mouths. For, behold! as a branch of the vine of Christ, truly manning the wine-press of his heart with the fear of judgment and with ascetic pangs, he unceasingly poured forth streams of tears, like the wine which truly maketh glad the heart of man. Rejoicing unceasingly, therefore, in spirit today, let us offer him praise, chanting psalms and saying: Precious in the sight of the Lord was thy death, O venerable one, and most joyous for us is thy memorial, O thou who art beloved of God, whereon we, celebrating now in spirit, cry out to thee in supplication: O Nilus our God-bearing father, pray thou to the Savior of all, that He grant us oneness of mind, peace and great mercy!

Now & ever..., from the Pentecostarion.

Great Doxology & troparia. Litanies. Dismissal. First Hour.

At Liturgy

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from the appointed ode of the canon from the Pentecostarion, and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the venerable one.

Prokimenon, in Tone VII-
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
Stichos: What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto me?

Epistle to the Galatians, §213

[Gal. 5: 22-6: 2]

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Alleluia, in Tone VI-
Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.
Stichos: His seed shall be mighty upon the earth.

Gospel according to Luke, § 24 [Lk. 6: 17-23].

At that time Jesus stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judζa and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all. And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said: "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven"

Communion Verse-
In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.


( 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.

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