Akathist Hymn to the All-Holy-Lady Theotokos, Chanted before Her Myrrh-Streaming Montreal Iveron Icon

Kontakion I

iveron_small.jpg Unto thee, the helper of the Christian race, chosen out of all generations, who hast given unto us a wondrous sign through thy precious icon and the fragrant myrrh which poureth forth therefrom, do we offer hymnody of praise in compunction of heart. As one who holdest sway over all creation, grant renewal of heart and life unto us who cry aloud: Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Ikos I

Thine icon, which even the angels hold in reverence, O Mistress, hath shone forth upon us in these latter days as an inexhaustible source of grace divine, that all the faithful who fall down with love before thee and bow reverently before this image may thus give voice unto hymnody of praise to thee:

Rejoice, O Virgin, chosen beforehand by the Lord from eternity;
Rejoice, thou who wast all-wisely hidden from the sight of man until thy time was come!
Rejoice, daughter of Adam who was fashioned of dust;
Rejoice, restoration of Eve, our first mother!
Rejoice, thou who wast born in fallen nature;
Rejoice, thou who in virtue wast exalted far above the nature of angels!
Rejoice, thou who wast prefigured in the indistinct images of the prophets;
Rejoice, thou who gavest birth unto Him who did abolish the worship of the tabernacle!
Rejoice, thou who didst all-wondrously shine forth from a barren woman;
Rejoice, thou who hast imparted spiritual fruitfulness to the faithful!
Rejoice, all-glorious fulfillment of the ancient hopes;
Rejoice, thou who art the ultimate hope of those who live in the last times!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion II

Seeing the myrrh that was poured forth from thine icon, all the multitude of those who prayed before thy holy image were filled with awe and joy, and as a sacrifice of thanksgiving they offered thee fervent tears from a contrite heart, that through thine intercession before thy Son their compunctionate cry might not be for naught: Alleluia!

Ikos II

Our feeble intellect is at a loss to describe the all-glorious miracle: how the fragrant myrrh so copiously exuded by thine icon, if it were some day all collected together, would weigh seven times more than the icon itself. And, marveling at this mystery, with thanksgiving we glorify thee thus:

Rejoice, inexhaustible wellspring of grace;
Rejoice, thou who in boundless purity didst serve the Infinite One!
Rejoice, thou who didst contain Him Whom even the whole world cannot contain;
Rejoice, thou who didst show forth as circumscribed Him Who is uncircumscribable!
Rejoice, thou who hast brought to us Him Who dwelleth in the highest;
Rejoice, thou who hast enabled men to ascend to the heavens!
Rejoice, humble handmaid of the Lord;
Rejoice, Mistress of the ranks of the angels!
Rejoice, thou who wast brought up in the Holy of holies;
Rejoice, thou who didst never entertain a single haughty thought!
Rejoice, thou to whom the angel brought glad tidings;
Rejoice, thou who didst dwell in this vale of tears on earth!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion III

The power of the Most High hath not waned even to this day, though the ranks of the faithful are few and greatly diminished; but, always sheltered by thy protection, we hope to turn the righteous wrath of thy Son to mercy, crying out to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos III

Possessed of the riches of thine ineffable mercy, which hath been freely given us through thine icon, we sinners are filled with fear, for we remain incorrigible. Yet, relying still upon thy mercy, O Mistress, we cry unto thee with tears: Let not the sight of thy miracles be counted for our judgment and condemnation, but let it be that in the end we may with purified heart chant unto thee such things as these:

Rejoice, ewe-lamb who gavest birth unto the meek Lamb;
Rejoice, thou who hast revealed the Lion of Judah to the world!
Rejoice, thou who didst contain the incorporeal God in thy womb;
Rejoice, thou who didst clothe Him in human flesh!
Rejoice, thou who becamest a mother yet didst remain a virgin;
Rejoice, thou who hast shown us thine only Son as possessed of two natures!
Rejoice, receptacle of the Father’s blessing;
Rejoice, coffer full to overflowing with the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, thou who wast not tempted by soul-corrupting pleasures;
Rejoice, thou who knewest not a mother’s pangs in giving birth!
Rejoice, inheritor of [human] nature which is inclined toward sin;
Rejoice, thou who didst never yield to it!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion IV

Breathing a storm of Christ-murder, many new iconoclasts and defilers of things holy audaciously appeared in the Russian land, as God permitted because of our sins; and they overthrew our ancestral altars, slew the Lord’s ministers, and corrupted their children with the falsehood of atheism; and only a few of the faithful remained in the homeland and in foreign parts. But thou, O Mistress, didst not forsake them, but through the wondrous appearance of thine icon consolest those who with tears cry out to God: Alleluia!

Ikos IV

Hearing of the all-glorious miracles that pour forth from thine icon, the whole world, which hath renounced Christ, falleth silent, overcome with astonishment, for it is unable to deny [the wonder]; but, having received salvation through thee, the faithful cry out thus to thee in unceasing hymns:

Rejoice, sovereignty of Orthodox kings;
Rejoice, victorious commander of Christ-loving armies!
Rejoice, constant shaming of the Moslem infidels;
Rejoice, thou who many times hast scattered those who make war upon thy people!
Rejoice, thou who hast protected the cities of the Orthodox against enemy assault;
Rejoice, thou who hast wondrously guided thy people to repentance and prayer!
Rejoice, thou who hast shown thyself in glory unto the elect who pray to thee;
Rejoice, thou who through them hast declared God’s will concerning the salvation of all the faithful!
Rejoice, thou who hast averted the wrath of God from us;
Rejoice, thou who hast not allowed us to perish utterly in sins!
Rejoice, regent of the vacant royal throne on earth;
Rejoice, Queen who ever reignest with thy Son in heaven!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion V

Like a divinely guided star, O Mistress, thou shinest upon the faithful in the Diaspora, who suffer twofold exile: banished from paradise through the disobedience of Adam, and driven from Holy Russia, thine earthly portion, expelled by God’s Providence for the sins of their fathers, that, deprived, as it were, of an earthly city, we may with our whole soul seek the city of heaven, where we someday hope to chant: Alleluia!

Ikos V

All of the ends of the earth beheld the magnitude of the miracles of God poured forth from thine icon, O Mistress, and they marveled at thy great loving-kindness; and certain ones among them, understanding that there is but one true God, thy Son Who is worshiped with the Father and the Spirit, have cried out to thee thus:

Rejoice, tablet of truth graven by God;
Rejoice, generous gift of grace!
Rejoice, confirmation of the Orthodox Church;
Rejoice, goodly teaching of the ignorant!
Rejoice, thou who art blessed by all generations;
Rejoice, thou who through thy Son hast gathered together those who were scattered!
Rejoice, fulfillment of the expectation of Israel of old;
Rejoice, thou who hast been shown to be a Mother to the new Israelites!
Rejoice, thou who puttest to shame the unbelieving Jews;
Rejoice, thou who hast assembled a new people of God out of all nations!
Rejoice, bestower of transcendent good things;
Rejoice, storehouse of inexhaustible treasures!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion VI

Thou didst choose as the proclaimer of thy miracles and the guardian of thine icon in the Russian Diaspora not a bishop, nor a prince, nor yet a guide of monastics, but a simple man who was not a Russian, that no-one in the flesh might boast before God, but whose boast would be that he knoweth the Lord and crieth out to Him in the Orthodox manner: Alleluia!

Ikos VI

Thou hast shone the light of the Orthodox Faith upon all the ends of the earth: for, according to thy word, thy Son hath exalted the humble exiles, and through them hath filled those in every nation who thirst for the good things of the Spirit, that together all may cry out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who of old didst bless the apostles with thine icon;
Rejoice, thou who hast imbued thine icons with the grace of thy Son!
Rejoice, thou who hast received veneration before thine icons;
Rejoice, thou who hast instructed us to direct it to the prototype thereof!
Rejoice, invisible companion of all who proclaim the glad tidings;
Rejoice, wondrous strengthening of their human words!
Rejoice, thou who didst set at naught the rage of Copronymus;
Rejoice, thou who hast cast down the impiety of Luther!
Rejoice, thou who of old didst shed blood from thy wounded icon;
Rejoice, thou who hast poured forth myrrh from the copy thereof, which was venerated with honor!
Rejoice, terror of those motivated by malice;
Rejoice, strengthening of the saints who are led by the Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion VII

When all the powers of the abyss of hell desired the utter destruction of the Orthodox Faith, thou didst show wondrous help to the remnant of the faithful, O Mistress; and even to those who are lost in the darkness of unbelief thou extendest thy mercy, that, seeing with their own eyes miracles more beautiful than those of old, their hearts might be softened, and, driving away the glooms of unbelief, they might cry out to thy Son: Alleluia!

Ikos VII

New stars, the whole multitude of the those who have suffered, martyred by the evil ones who fought against Christ, shone forth in the spiritual sky of Holy Russia; and when new church hymns were sung in their praise on earth, thine icon also began to pour forth myrrh, signifying Lord’s approval of the glorification by the whole Church of His faithful favorites, who stand without ceasing amid never-waning light and intercede on behalf of those who cry out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who wast foreseen of old by the Prophet Isaiah;
Rejoice, thou who by him wast hymned even until his cruel death at the hands of apostates!
Rejoice, deliverance from unexpected perils;
Rejoice, strengthening amid the tribulations that the Lord permitteth to befall us!
Rejoice, thou who by thy mercy bringest people to repentance;
Rejoice, thou who treatest the wounds of our sins with the medicine of sorrows!
Rejoice, thou who dost rescue us from sudden death;
Rejoice, thou who dost bless [Christians] to endure tortures and death for Christ!
Rejoice, most splendid boast of the martyrs;
Rejoice, fortitude of victorious sufferers!
Rejoice, thou who crownest with crosses those who love thee;
Rejoice, thou who dost glorify those who hymn thee!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion VIII

The secret apostates, who said that divine grace cannot exist in the exiled Church, failed to comprehend the strange and unfathomable providence of the Lord concerning His servants in the Russian Diaspora. But pouring forth from thine icon a miraculously flowing myrrh, O Mistress, thou didst straightway put this blasphemy utterly to shame, and didst gladden thy faithful, who for thee cry aloud: Alleluia!

Ikos VIII

Those whose only boast is in the outward magnificence of the Church and who consider that amity with the mighty of this world will insure the well-being of the Church of Christ, dwell wholly on things below; but we make all haste to thy heavenly aid, O Mistress, crying out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who by thy wisdom hast shown wise men to be fools;
Rejoice, thou who hast not put to shame our steadfast hope in thee!
Rejoice, repulsing of the assaults of the wicked;
Rejoice, goodly crowning of simplicity of heart!
Rejoice, thou who gavest birth to the Architect of all things;
Rejoice, thou who hast rent asunder all the cleverly woven lies of men!
Rejoice, thou who art ever unknown to those who love the world;
Rejoice, thou who hast granted mystic vision unto those who trust in thee!
Rejoice, thou who hast cast down from their thrones the mighty of this age;
Rejoice, thou who hast all-gloriously exalted the humble!
Rejoice, Mother of the Light and the Truth;
Rejoice, dispelling of all falsehood and darkness!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion IX

Let all human nature be moved to praise thy Son and hymn the multitude of thy compassions, O Mistress, and let those comforted by thee not seek consolation elsewhere, but let them chant with unceasing voices: Alleluia!

Ikos IX

Vain-minded orators and false prophets have appeared in these latter days, uttering words of delusion in thy name, and telling of revelations given them by unclean spirits, claiming that they beheld thee themselves. Yet all who understand the abyss of thy true miracles place no credence in these foolish utterings and cry out to thee without ceasing:

Rejoice, meek Queen;
Rejoice, thou who hast in nowise magnified thyself!
Rejoice, thou who art called blessed by all generations;
Rejoice, thou who didst never compel anyone to do thee homage!
Rejoice, thou who didst keep silent amid the council of the apostles;
Rejoice, thou who by thy silence didst edify them more than with words!
Rejoice, Mother of God, the true Wisdom;
Rejoice, thou who ever reignest with thy Son and thy God!
Rejoice, thou who didst not dare to claim divine nature for thyself;
Rejoice, thou who more than all others hast been vouchsafed deification through grace!
Rejoice, O ultimate Mediatress at the judgment of thy Son;
Rejoice, thou who hast rescued many from perdition by the thought of that tribunal!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion X

Wishing to save thy miraculous icon from mockery by the ungodly, thou didst once all-gloriously bear it up upon a wave of the sea, and gavest it to the monks of Athos as it floated over the deep in a pillar of light; and even the copies made of it thou hast glorified with many miracles, that all may cry out to God in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Ikos X

Thou art the bulwark of the Orthodox Faith and the true confirmation of piety, O Virgin, even though the way of the ungodly doth prosper, and they who work iniquity abound. But thou dost show that the one way to salvation lieth in standing immovably in right confession and singing to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who dost accomplish all things for the benefit of thy servants;
Rejoice, thou who knowest well what is truly beneficial for our souls!
Rejoice, thou who hast pity on our weakness by the manifestation of thy glory;
Rejoice, thou who hidest thy divine glory under the appearance of an icon!
Rejoice, thou who didst once appear in person to thine elect;
Rejoice, thou who didst quickly transform their sacred trembling into joy!
Rejoice, thou who hast shown kindness to those incapable of gazing calmly upon thy glory;
Rejoice, thou who by miraculous myrrh bringest us to the same holy trembling!
Rejoice, thou who by thy gentle miracles hast guided us to repentance;
Rejoice, thou who thereby hast made us steadfast in the true Faith!
Rejoice, thou who dost not accept from us idle wonder;
Rejoice, thou who dost await the complete conversion of our souls!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion XI

Orthodox Russia offereth thee hymnody of praise; for not only thy servants in the Diaspora, but also those in the homeland, have learned of the all-glorious miracles wrought through thy myrrh-streaming icon and have preserved as priceless treasures the fragrant droplets thereof, inhaling their sweet savor for many years, and chanting unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos XI

Unto us who languish in the darkness of unfeeling and seek consolation in earthly things without finding it, thou gavest thine icon as a light-bearing candle, O Mistress, that, waking out of the darkness of sin, we may lift up our eyes and cry out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who sheddest tears over us from thine icons;
Rejoice, thou who givest us tears of repentance!
Rejoice, thou who healest us with the medicine of bitter sorrow;
Rejoice, thou who dost transform our grief into joy!
Rejoice, thou who for our sins didst permit the loss of our Orthodox homeland;
Rejoice, thou who hast prepared the true heavenly homeland for all who grieve over this!
Rejoice, thou who by bonds of sorrow dost free us from the snares of sin;
Rejoice, thou who dost console the patient with the sign of thy kind-heartedness!
Rejoice, thou who by a single drop of myrrh dost gladden many on earth;
Rejoice, thou who in heaven dost possess an unfathomable sea of noetic myrrh!
Rejoice, warming of our frigid prayers;
Rejoice, uplifting of our base minds to heaven!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion XII

Filled to abundance with thy grace and compassions, we ask not for more of thy gifts, O Mistress, but rather that we might receive all these gifts without condemnation and that we not be accused of arrogance and negligence at the hour of judgment, but may be vouchsafed like good and faithful servants to chant continually to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos XII

Hymning thy loving-kindness which transcendeth the heavens, we praise thee, O Theotokos, as our good helper in this age and our ineffable delight in the life which is to come; wherefore, we cry out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who by thy mercy dost humble every thought;
Rejoice, thou who dost not terrify us utterly with the fear of judgment!
Rejoice, bestower of the tears that bring about joy;
Rejoice, suppressor of mindless hilarity!
Rejoice, dispelling of conceited thoughts;
Rejoice, thou who exaltest those who embrace humility!
Rejoice, thou who dost impart repentance before death;
Rejoice, thou who bestowest a Christian ending!
Rejoice, thou who dost protect the faithful amid the toll houses of the air;
Rejoice, only hope of those whose souls have departed from their bodies!
Rejoice, Mediatress for those who ask remission of sins;
Rejoice, generous bestowal of heavenly rewards!
Rejoice, O good gatekeeper who openest the gates of paradise to the faithful!

Kontakion XIII

O most hymned Mother, who gavest birth to the Word Who had become incarnate of thy precious blood, and hast poured forth a greatly healing myrrh from thine honored icon: Mercifully accept our present hymnody, that having received thy gifts on this earth with goodly diligence, we may not be deprived also of thy heavenly good things, crying out to thy Son for thy sake: Alleluia!

(This Kontakion is recited thrice, whereupon Ikos I and Kontakion I are repeated)

Prayer to the All-holy Theotokos

Recited Before Her Montréal-Iveron icon

O most glorious Lady, Queen of heaven and earth, Virgin Theotokos! Falling down now before thy precious icon, with compunction in our hearts we give voice to this, our meager entreaty; for we are unprofitable servants who deserve condemnation, yet hope to find mercy through thine almighty mediation before the Judge. We believe and trust, O Mistress, that thy Son, Who desireth not death of sinners, will hearken to thy mediation, and have now been informed of this by the wondrous sign of myrrh streaming from thy holy icon, from whence thou hast poured forth healings in abundance upon all who with love and faith have recourse unto thee. Wherefore, we cry out to thee with tears: Have pity on our wretchedness, forgive us our unfaithfulness, break thou the arrogance of our pride, dispel the numbness of our hardened hearts, regard the sighing of those beset by despondency, and make us chaste by the expectation of future reward. And grant, O Lady, that our Church may stand unshakably in the Truth and a goodly increase in love. Protect us from all the wiles of the demons and the vain beliefs of the heretics, and gather the scattered faithful together, that all who glorify thee in Orthodox manner on earth may also be vouchsafed to glorify with song in the heavens the most worshipful name of the Holy Trinity and thy merciful aid to us, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Troparion, in Tone VII

From thy holy icon, O Lady Theotokos, blessed myrrh has flowed abundantly. Thou hast thereby consoled those in exile faithful unto thee and hast enlightened the unbelievers by thy Son’s light. Therefore, O Lady, with tears we bow down to thee: be merciful to us in the hour of judgment, lest having received thy mercy, we be punished as those who have been contemptuous of it, but grant us through thy prayers to bring forth spiritual fruit and save our souls. (This Troparion may also be chanted in the 1st Tone.)

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