AKATHIST TO THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

IN HONOUR OF THE ICON OF THE INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP

Translated by Sister Dorofea (Mirochnitchenko) and Katherine Szalasznyj

 

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

October — November, 1994

(Second Edition)

 

The History of the Icon

The Inexhaustible Cup

18/5 May (Glorified 1878)

 

A peasant from the Efremovskii district of Tula province, a retired soldier, was an alcoholic, and a drunkard.[1] He would drink away all his pension, everything that he possessed, anything that could be found in his house, and eventually he was ruined and literally became a beggar. From excessive drinking, his legs became paralysed, but still he continued drinking.

One day, the man, who seemed to have hit rock-bottom, had an unusual dream. In it a venerable old man came to him and said:

“Go to the city of Serpoukhov,[2] to the monastery of the Theotokos.[3] There you will find an icon of the Holy Mother called The Inexhaustible Cup.[4] Have a moleben before it, and you will be healed, both spiritually and physically.”

Without a penny to his name, and having no use of his legs, the man did not dare to go on a journey. But the holy man came to him a second and then a third time, and was so adamant in his admonition to obey his instructions, that the poor drunk did not dare to disobey any more, and he set off as quickly as he could, dragging himself on all fours.

In one of the neighbouring villages where he stopped to rest, an old woman took him in for the night. To ease his pain, she massaged his legs, and put him to rest on top of the clay oven, a customary place for the old or sickly, because of the warmth. During the night the travelling man felt a pleasant sensation in his legs, and discovered that he was able to stand. On the following nights his legs became even stronger. And so, first with two walking-sticks, and then with just one, he arrived in Serpoukhov.

Once in the monastery, he told about his visions, and asked to have the moleben served. But nobody there had ever heard of such an icon. They started to search for it, and noticed one that was hanging in the passage to the sacristy,[5] that bore an image of a chalice. On the back of it, to their surprise, was written “The Inexhaustible Cup.

In the icon of St. Varlaam,[6] the disciple of the holy bishop Metropolitan Aleksii, the man immediately recognised the face of the holy elder who had appeared to him in his dreams.

From Serpoukhov the man departed, completely healed. The news about the miraculous icon spread quickly through the city, the region, and all of Rus'. Alcoholics (those bound by the passion of drink) and their families and friends, were coming to pray before the Mother of God for healing, and in time many came back to thank the all-merciful Theotokos for her speedy help.

Let it be known that this akathist service came to us in Canada in 1994, and we perceive that this is God's will and from the compassion of the Theotokos. In these times there is the renewal of the Church's life in the lands of Rus', and the rediscovery of God's mercy and tender care. This akathist has been rediscovered and is now frequently served, although the current service of which we have a photocopy was printed in only 4,000 copies. We pray that by offering these translations many souls in North America may be healed and saved.

 

KONTAK 1[7]

A wonderful and marvellous healing has been given to us by your holy icon, O sovereign Lady Theotokos. By its appearance we have been delivered from spiritual and physical ills, and from sorrowful circumstances. So we bring you our thankful praise, O all-merciful Protectress. O sovereign Lady, whom we call “The Inexhaustible Cup”: bend down your ear and mercifully hear our lamentation and tears that we bring to you, and give your healing to those who suffer from drunkenness, so that we may cry out to you with faith: “REJOICE, O INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP THAT QUENCHES OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!”

 

IKOS 1

Angelic powers and multitudes of saints continually glorify you, the Theotokos, Queen of all, the intercessor for us sinful christians wallowing in lawlessness and remaining in sins. It is for our consolation and salvation that you in your mercy gave us your miraculous icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only star among a multitude of stars on a starlit night, we may prostrate ourselves, shouting from the very depths of our heart:

REJOICE, dwelling-place of the unapproachable God.

REJOICE, our constant wonder.

REJOICE, you make our sorrow wipe away our sins.

REJOICE, you make our grief heal our ills.

REJOICE, through your miraculous icon, you bring us your heavenly mercy.

REJOICE, O joy of our grieving heart.

REJOICE, our wonderful reconciliation with God.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 2

On seeing the deep sorrow and grief of people possessed by the destructive vice of drunkenness, and also their true repentance, you have willed, O most holy Lady, to show your mercy to the blessed city of Serpoukhov by the appearance of your miraculous icon "The Inexhaustible Cup", so that all who fall down before it with faith and a contrite heart will receive healing from this grievous illness, and thus may cry to God from the depths of their heart: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 2

Having understood the meaning of the threefold apparition of St Varlaam, and his order to go to the city of Serpoukhov, the man possessed by the illness of alcoholism did so, and there, in

a monastery he found your holy icon called "The Inexhaustible Cup". On seeing such mercy bestowed on us sinners, we cry out to you with veneration:

REJOICE, through pious people you show to us sinners the glory of your marvellous work.

REJOICE, sagacious guide, showing us the way of salvation.

REJOICE, O good teacher, by your goodness you attract us to yourself.

REJOICE, by bestowing on us your great blessings you teach us gratefulness.

REJOICE, by making us know hope beyond doubt you give us gladness of heart.

REJOICE, you destroy our destructive passions.

REJOICE, you help us in our good intentions.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 3

The power of the Almighty and the grace of the sovereign Mother of God strengthened a man suffering from alcoholism, when in obedience to an order of the Theotokos, given to him by St Varlaam, he set out for the city of Serpoukhov, in spite of his paralysed legs. On his arrival, he found the icon of the most pure Theotokos, and was healed from illness of the soul and that of the body. Therefore, from the very depth of his heart, he gratefully exclaimed to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 3

You are an inexhaustible fountain, a cup of heavenly gifts that ever ever remains full. And the people of the city of Serpoukhov, as well as all orthodox, from every city and village, who come to your most wonderful icon, "The Inexhaustible Cup", are healed. And so with grateful lips they cry out to you:

REJOICE, O vessel of holy water that dissolves our sorrow.

REJOICE, O cup by which we receive the joy of our salvation.

REJOICE, you attend to our spiritual and physical ills.

REJOICE, your prayers tame our passions.

REJOICE, you give to each according to his needs.

REJOICE, you give generously to all.

REJOICE, you have opened for us the treasury of mercy.

REJOICE, you show mercy to the fallen one.

REJOICE, O sovereign lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 4

People laden with passions and addictions, doubting of ever finding deliverance, come with repentance to your inexpressible mercy. And on having been healed, from the very depths of their hearts they cry to our Saviour born of you: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 4

On seeing the sorrow and tears of parents, wives and children whose family member is possessed by the passion of addiction, the Lord gave us your icon, O Theotokos, and all who come to it receive consolation and spiritual joy. And so we cry out to you with tears of gratitude:

REJOICE, O lamb, you gave birth to the Lamb of God.

REJOICE, you are the ladle that draws up joy from the source of immortality.

REJOICE, you are the alleviation of the grief of sorrowing mothers.

REJOICE, you are the hope of the hopeless.

REJOICE, you gracefully protect those who come to you.

REJOICE, you are the delight and joy of those in grief.

REJOICE, your helping hand is there for those who seek it.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 5

O most gracious Lady, you have shown us your holy icon to be the star that leads to God, so that looking upon it and praying to you, we may say: O Theotokos, give healing to those who are suffering from drunkenness and any other illness of mind and body, and teach us all to praise God, singing: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 5

O Theotokos, on seeing the marvels and wonders granted to those who humbly venerate you, wonders pouring from your icon that miraculously appeared in Serpoukhov, and also from those that were but copies of it, we cry out to you:

REJOICE, you are a speedy protectress of all who come to you.

REJOICE, you hear our prayers.

REJOICE, you have blessed the city of Serpoukhov.

REJOICE, you have shown the glory of your miracles in the region of Moscow.

REJOICE, inexhaustible Treasure for all who are in need of healing.

REJOICE, O almighty help to those who strive for sobriety.

REJOICE, O almighty help to those who fight against the world, flesh, Satan and addictions.

REJOICE, you defend those who lead a good life in this world.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 6

O Theotokos, we proclaim your wonders that pour forth from your icon, "The Inexhaustible Cup", and with tears we pray to you: Save us all from the passion of drunkenness and from other addictions and sins, and teach us, O Pure One, to abstain from all impurity, and to sing to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 6

In the light of the Divine Glory, you look at your Son, the eternal God and Lord Jesus Christ, standing in the chalice as shown on your icon mysteriously called "The Inexhaustible Cup"; and you give from it deliverance from drunkenness to us who come unto you and bring to you this unceasing praise:

REJOICE, for the angelic powers and the human race rejoice because you.

REJOICE, for your glory surpasses both human and heavenly praise.

REJOICE, you have revealed to us the mystery of the Divine Eucharist by showing the image of your Son in the chalice.

REJOICE, you show us the Lamb born of you who is always eaten but never consumed.

REJOICE, O cup of life and immortality that leads us to the gates of eternal life.

REJOICE, you fill our thirsty souls with the water from the fountain of immortality.

REJOICE, you do not withhold your blessing even from the most rejected and despised.

REJOICE, by your compassion you pull us away from the pit of perdition.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 7

A man wanted to thank you, O Theotokos, for healing from alcoholism, so he adorned your miraculous icon that is in Serpoukhov, singing to God from the depths of his heart: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 7

We see a new miracle from your holy icon, O Theotokos. A servant of God, Stephen, a victim of the disease of alcoholism, was imploring your maternal intercession, and he has been granted a cure. So in gratitude he adorned your icon with rich gifts, and falling before it he called to you with tears:

REJOICE, lifegiving fountain of healing.

REJOICE, heavenly cup of divine gifts.

REJOICE, river that carries healing.

REJOICE, the sea into which sink all our passions.

REJOICE, with your tender maternal hands you raise up those who fall under the weight of drunkenness.

REJOICE, you do not turn down gifts of gratitude.

REJOICE, joy of pious people.

REJOICE, you grant us those of our petitions that are good for us.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 8

It must be strange and incredible to unbelievers to hear that your icon "The Inexhaustible Cup" procures miracles. But to us who believe in your words proclaimed about your first icon, "The Grace of the One who is born of me and my own blessings will always be with this icon", this present icon also exudes your mercy. And so, reverently we venerate it, crying to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 8

People suffering from alcoholism and addictions do put all their hope in you, O sovereign Lady. Bend down to our ills and our passions. For who but you, O Theotokos, shall raise us out of the pit of perdition and of physical and spiritual misery? And thus having bent our knees, we cry out to you:

REJOICE, you do not reject the prayers of those who are sinful.

REJOICE, you give your help to those who ask for it.

REJOICE, you show the depth of your compassion for the sinner.

REJOICE, you give courage to those who have lost all hope.

REJOICE, you extend your helping hand to those who suffer from drunkenness.

REJOICE, by your gift of grace you console those who suffer patiently.

REJOICE, you nurse our physical and emotional ills.

REJOICE, you teach us to despise the empty pleasures of this life.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 9

All the angels are amazed at your mercy, O Lord, for You have given to sinful mankind a strong protectress and helper. She looks down at our weakness, and heals those suffering from

the bitter disease of drunkenness, and teaches the faithful to sing: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 9

The most exalted human mind cannot praise enough the appearance of your glorious icon, O sovereign Lady. Nor can we sinners bring from our sinful lips a glorification worthy of our Protectress. On having seen innumerable miracles coming from your icon, we rejoice in our heart and spirit, and proclaim:

REJOICE, from your holy face miracles pour forth.

REJOICE, you speedily deliver us from grief and sorrow.

REJOICE, you put to shame those who deny you.

REJOICE, you protect from every evil those who come to you.

REJOICE, by your gentle radiance you disperse the darkness of our passions and our sins.

REJOICE, you fill our hearts with love for your Son and for yourself.

REJOICE, you show us the path of repentance.

REJOICE, you are our mediator before the righteous judge.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 10

Wishing to save all those who suffer from the diseases of alcoholism and other addictions, you have given us your wonderful icon, O Theotokos, so that all who suffer may come to your miraculous image; and having been healed, may tenderly cry out to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 10

You are the wall and the shield, O Lady Theotokos, for those who suffer from drunkenness, and also for all those who come to you fervently and who piously venerate your holy icon; for the Lord God gave it to us to help us, and to heal us from this destructive addiction. And thus He inspires us to sing to you:

REJOICE, you alleviate our sufferings and give hope to those who despair.

REJOICE, you are the healing of our ills.

REJOICE, with your purity you wipe away our corruption.

REJOICE, by your holiness you illumine our darkness.

REJOICE, by your cloak of compassion you clothe our mortal body.

REJOICE, by your strength you fortify our prayers.

REJOICE, you strengthen us in our weakness.

REJOICE, you disperse the dark clouds of passions that surround us.

REJOICE, o sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 11

O pure one, do not despise our humble singing that we bring to you from fullness of love and zeal; and do not turn away your face from those who suffer from drunkenness and despair, but do help us, so that we also may be cleansed from every impurity and may rightly and justly sing to God: ALLELUIA!

IKOS 11

O most holy Lady! On your icon you are seen like a burning candle in rays of grace, surrounded by the assembly of saints and holy martyrs. And as you indicate to us the path of righteousness, we call to you and say:

REJOICE, by the intercession of St Domnica you save us from this world of trouble.

REJOICE, by her pleading you help us to overcome passions of the flesh.

REJOICE, by the prayers of the holy martyr Varlaam, you fill our hearts with pious thoughts.

REJOICE, by his pleading you illumine our conscience.

REJOICE, by the prayers of the holy martyr Paraskeva you deliver those who suffer from drunkenness.

REJOICE, by her intercession you call us to repentance and watchfulness.

REJOICE, together with the holy martyr Antipas you mellow the bitter heart.

REJOICE, with him you save those who call on your name.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 12

The grace that shines through your icon "The Inexhaustible Cup" calls to it all those who suffer, all the unfortunate, widows and orphans, and especially those who are ill with the disease of alcoholism. And no one goes away empty-handed from your inexhaustible cup, O merciful one, but all are filled with divine gifts; so that having received healing and help, they may sing to you: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 12

Praising your wondrous work and great mercy that you show to those who suffer from addictions, we beg you, O compassionate one - save, have mercy on us, show us the right path, and do not reject us who seek your protection and call out to you:

REJOICE, you sustain us on the way to soberness.

REJOICE, by the dew of your mercy you deliver us from the passion of alcohol.

REJOICE, by your mercy you heal us from addictions.

REJOICE, you are a speedy help to those who suffer from all kinds of dependence.

REJOICE, you support those who are even-tempered.

REJOICE, you humble the prideful.

REJOICE, you exalt the humble and wish salvation to all.

REJOICE, O holy Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.

 

KONTAK 13

O all-merciful Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, hear our prayer, and deliver us from all ills, physical and emotional, and especially your servant(s) ___(name(s) )___, who suffer(s) from this disease, so that he (she, they) may not perish, but might be saved and thus would sing to God:

ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

[This kontak is read three times, and is followed by Ikos 1 and Kontak 1]

 

IKOS 1

Angelic powers and multitudes of saints continually glorify you, the Theotokos, Queen of all, the intercessor for us sinful christians wallowing in lawlessness and remaining in sins. It is for our consolation and salvation that you in your mercy gave us your miraculous icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only star among a multitude of stars on a starlit night, we may prostrate ourselves, exclaiming from the very depths of our heart:

REJOICE, dwelling-place of the unapproachable God.

REJOICE, our constant wonder.

REJOICE, you make our sorrow wipe away our sins.

REJOICE, you make our grief heal our ills.

REJOICE, through your miraculous icon, you bring us your heavenly mercy.

REJOICE, O joy of our grieving heart.

REJOICE, our wonderful reconciliation with God.

REJOICE, O Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 1

A wonderful and marvellous healing has been given to us by your holy icon, O sovereign Lady Theotokos. By its apparition we have been delivered from spiritual and physical ills, and from sorrowful circumstances. So we bring you our thankful praise, O all-merciful Protectress. O sovereign Lady, whom we call "The Inexhaustible Cup". Bend down your ear and mercifully hear our lamentation and tears that we bring to you, and give your healing to those who suffer from drunkenness, so that we may cry out to you with faith: "REJOICE, O INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP THAT QUENCHES OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!"

 

FIRST PRAYER

O our merciful and holy Lady Theotokos, hope and refuge of the orphan, defense of the stranger, help of those in need, and protection of those who are bitter: You see our misfortune, you see our sorrow. From all sides we are assailed by temptations, and there is no one to protect us. You, yourself, help us, for we are weak. Feed us, for we are strangers. Show us the way, for we are lost. Heal us, for we hurt. Save us, for there is no hope for us. We have no other recourse, neither protection nor consolation, but you, O Mother of all who suffer and are burdened. Look down on us sinners, who are harsh and bitter, and protect us by your holy omophor, that we may be delivered from all evil that assails us, and especially from drunkenness, so that we may always glorify your all-holy name.

R:        Amen!

 

SECOND PRAYER

O all-merciful sovereign Lady, we come to your protection. Do not despise our petitions, but kindly hear us - wives, children, husbands, parents, and all those who suffer from heavy affliction of addictions of all sorts; and restore those who, because of it, fall away from our holy Mother the Church and its salvation. O merciful Theotokos, touch their heart and speedily restore them from their fallen state, and lead them to salutary repentance. Implore your Son, Christ our God, to forgive us our trespasses, and not to turn away His mercies from His people, but that He would strengthen us in sobriety and chastity.

Accept, O all-holy Theotokos, the petitions of mothers shedding tears about their children, wives sobbing for their husbands, children, orphans, beggars, and all those who were forsaken, and us all who venerate your icon. And let your prayers carry our petitions to the throne of the Almighty.

Cover us, and keep us from all snares of the enemy, and the traps of the evil one, and at the dreadful hour of our death, help us to pass the ordeal without stumbling. By your prayers, save us from eternal condemnation, so that God's mercy may cover us for the ages to come.

R:        Amen!

 

TROPAR (Tone 4)

TODAY WE FAITHFUL COME TO THE DIVINE AND MIRACULOUS ICON

OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS,

WHO FILLS THE FAITHFUL FROM THE INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP OF HER MERCY,

AND SHOWS THEM GREAT MIRACLES.

AND WE WHO HAVE SEEN THEM AND HEARD OF THEM

REJOICE IN OUR HEART AND CRY OUT WITH DEEP FEELING AND DEVOTION:

O ALL-MERCIFUL SOVEREIGN LADY,

HEAL OUR ILLS AND OUR PASSIONS BY PRAYING TO YOUR SON, CHRIST OUR GOD,

THAT HE MAY SAVE OUR SOULS.

The end of the first translation, by Sister Dorofea.

            Following is the translation by Mrs Katherine Szalasznyj, who also provided the map and footnotes.

[ We would like to suggest that, although this Akathist deals primarily with the passion of drunkenness, it would be appropriate, for those suffering from other passions, to insert the name of their malady in places where appropriate and allowed by the text and context. ]

 

KONTAK 1

Select [8] and wondrous deliverance has been given to us by your holy image, O sovereign Lady Theotokos, which through its appearance has delivered us from afflictions of the spirit and flesh, and from sorrowful circumstances. Therefore we bring you our thankful praise, O most merciful intercessor. Incline yourself in mercy toward us, "Chalice of Non-intoxication", [9] we call you: heed our sighs and heartfelt cries, and deliver us, suffering from the infirmity of drink, as with faith we cry out to you: REJOICE, O SOVEREIGN LADY, O CHALICE OF NON-INTOXICATION, WHO SATISFY OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

 

IKOS 1

Angelic powers and assemblies of the righteous glorify you unceasingly, O Theotokos, Queen of all, interceding for us, unworthy servants, who dwell in lawlessness and transgressions. [10] Yet for salvation and comfort in your mercy, you give us your wonderworking icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only bright star among a multitude, we might fall down, and from the depths of our hearts cry out to you:

REJOICE, O dwelling-place of the unapproachable Godhead. [11]

REJOICE, unceasing wonder of man.

REJOICE, O one who remove us from the grief of our sins.

REJOICE, O healing one, who heal the hurts of our infirmities.

REJOICE, O one through whose wonderworking image mercy is sent from on high.

REJOICE, O one whose treasures revealed bring rejoicing to our hearts.

REJOICE, O most wondrous of God's reconciliations.

REJOICE, O one who deliver us forever from Gehenna.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst![12]

 

KONTAK 2

Seeing, O holy sovereign Lady, the heartfelt sorrow and the tortuous suffering [13] of those bound by the desperate vice of drink and their sincere repentance, you graciously willed to show your mercy in the blessed city of Serpoukhov by the appearance of your miraculous icon, " The Chalice of Non-intoxication", so that all who fall before it with faith and a contrite heart might receive healing from this grievous affliction, and from the depths of their hearts cry to God: ALLELUIA!

IKOS 2

Understanding the meaning of the threefold apparition of St Varlaam, and his instructions to travel to the blessed city of Serpoukhov, the man bound by the passion for drink obeys, and there, in the monastery, finds your holy icon, "The Non-intoxicating Chalice". We also, seeing the very same mark [14] of sin upon ourselves, cry to you with veneration:

REJOICE, O revealer, revealing the glory of your wonders to sinners through those pure in heart.

REJOICE, sagacious guide, showing the fallen salvation's path.

REJOICE, all-blessed teacher, drawing us forward with your love.

REJOICE, O one whose good works teach us thankfulness.

REJOICE, O turner of our sorrows into joy.

REJOICE, O one who gird us with steadfast hope.

REJOICE, O destroyer of our destructive passions.

REJOICE, O one who make our good intentions bear fruit.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 3 [15]

Strengthened by the power of the Almighty, and by the grace of our sovereign Lady, a man beset by the infirmity of drink rises in obedience to the Mother of God, as instructed by the words of St Varlaam, and in spite of the weakness of his limbs, journeys, as directed, to Serpoukhov. Entering the city and finding the icon of the most pure Mother of God, he is healed of his infirmity in both his soul and his flesh, and from the depths of his heart with joyful gratitude, proclaims to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 3

Finding and abundant wellspring, [16] the Chalice of Non-intoxication given from on high, not only those of Serpoukhov but all true believers from all places come to your marvellous image; and receiving healing, fall before it, and with joyful lips cry to you:

REJOICE, O font, dissipator of our sorrows.

REJOICE, O cup, from which we receive salvation's joy.

REJOICE, attender to the infirmities of our flesh and our soul.

REJOICE, O vanquisher, overpowering our passions by the might of your prayer.

REJOICE, O giver, making gifts to each according to his need.

REJOICE, O generous one, giving with immeasurable generosity.

REJOICE, opener of the treasury of grace.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 4

Although an inner storm [17] of doubts may cloud their minds, yet those bound by the passion for drink come to you in sincere repentance and find indescribable mercy and receive healing, wherefore from the depths of their hearts they cry to our Saviour born of you: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 4

On seeing [18] the heavy burdens and hearing the cries of women, the elderly and children, the relatives of those possessed by the passion for drink, the Lord gives them your icon, O sovereign one, so that all who come to it might receive comfort and spiritual joy, and weeping might cry out to you:

REJOICE, O lamb, who gave birth to the Lamb.

REJOICE, O cup that from the source of immortality draws joy.

REJOICE, O comfort of mothers' sorrows.

REJOICE, O hope of the hopeless.

REJOICE, blessed refuge of those running to you.

REJOICE, gladdener of the hearts of those who grieved.

REJOICE, O one who make the agitation caused by the passion for drink to cease. [19]

REJOICE, O merciful one, whose hand of mercy is extended to those in need. [20]

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Non-intoxicating Chalice, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 5

As a divinely-radiant star observed from the south, [21] from Serpoukhov, your holy icon was revealed to us, O sovereign one, wherefore, with sincere faith, we implore you, O Theotokos, saying: heal those suffering from drink and from other maladies of the soul and the flesh, and teach the faithful to praise God, singing: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 5

Seeing the marvellous signs and wonders that come from your icon revealed at Serpoukhov, and from all other icons written like it, [22] O Mother of God, we venerate your image and humbly cry out to you:

REJOICE, O protectress, hastening to all who come to you.

REJOICE, O gracious listener to our petitions.

REJOICE, O one who have overshadowed Serpoukhov with blessings.

REJOICE, O one whose glory is shown to those in distant realms. [23]

REJOICE, plentiful treasury for all in need of healing.

REJOICE, almighty support to those who desire a sober life.

REJOICE, succour of the faithful, who battle the evil one, the world, the flesh, and drunkenness.[24]

REJOICE, sincere defender of those who lead a pure life.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 6

Proclaiming your wonders that pour from your icon, The Chalice of Non-intoxication, O Theotokos, with tears we beseech you: deliver us from the vice of drunkenness [25] and from the depths of sin, and teach us, O pure one, in temperance, [26] to sing to GOD: ALLELUIA!

IKOS 6

Radiant with the brightness of God's glory, O youthful [27] Virgin, you gaze upon your infant standing in a vessel, the Chalice of Non-intoxication; [28] a mystery is made known, granting deliverance from the passion of drink to all who implore you with faith. Wherefore with tears we bring you this unceasing praise:

REJOICE, O one in whom the angelic hosts and the race of men rejoice.

REJOICE, O glorious one, surpassing the praise of heaven and earth.

REJOICE, O revealer, and revealing your Son to us in the mystery of the Divine Eucharist.

REJOICE, O one by whom we wondrously see the Lamb born of you, Who is always eaten and never consumed.

REJOICE, O cup of life and immortality leading us to the gates of life eternal.

REJOICE, O fountain of unending life and joy filling the thirsty soul.

REJOICE, immeasurable grace, not rejecting the most destitute or downcast.

REJOICE, O one who draw the hopeless from disastrous depths.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

KONTAK 7 [29]

Adorning your miraculous icon at Serpoukhov, a man seeks to express his gratitude to you, O sovereign one, for delivering him from the infirmity of drink; and hymning God from the depths of his heart, he sings: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 7

A new wonder do we see, O sovereign Lady, emanating from your holy icon: suffering from the malady of drink, a certain servant of God, Stephen, seeks your motherly intercession and finds deliverance from his terrible suffering. In gratitude, he adorns your icon lavishly and falling before it with tears, calls to you:

REJOICE, O lifegiving fountain of healing.

REJOICE, O heavenly vessel of divine gifts.

REJOICE, O river of wholeness unending. [30]

REJOICE, ocean in which our passions are put to rest.

REJOICE, O mother, whose hands raise those oppressed by the sin of drink. [31]

REJOICE, O accepter of our gifts of gratitude.

REJOICE, O imparter of joy to the hearts of the pure.

REJOICE, O fulfiller of our right petitions.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 8

Strange and incredible it must seem to unbelievers that from your holy icon, the Non-intoxicating Chalice, flow wondrous works! But, believing your words, "The grace of the One born of me, and my blessings, with this icon shall remain," proclaimed concerning your first icon, O sovereign Lady, we do also believe that this icon pours forth your mercy. Therefore, bowing with deep veneration , we kiss [32] your image, crying out to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 8

All the hope of those suffering from the malady of drink is placed upon you, O sovereign Lady. Address our infirmities and passions, for if you do not lead us out of the depths of perdition and misery of the soul and flesh, who shall? Wherefore, we bow our knees before your holy icon and cry out to you:

REJOICE, O accepting one, not rejecting the prayers of the sinful.

REJOICE, O giver of help to those seeking your intercession.

REJOICE, O compassionate one, showing sinners the depth of your compassion.

REJOICE, O encouragement, who encourage the desperate and hopeless.

REJOICE, O one whose hand reaches toward those bound by the passion for drink.

REJOICE, O comforting one, who comfort those patiently suffering, with gifts of grace.

REJOICE, O attender to the infirmities of our souls and flesh.

REJOICE, O teacher, instructing us to scorn the empty pleasures of life.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 9

The angelic beings saw your act of mercy, O Lord, in giving the sinful race of men a stalwart protectress and helper, who addresses our infirmities and frees us from the bitter [33] malady of drink, and teaches the faithful to sing to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 9

The highest human mind [34] cannot praise sufficiently the appearance of your glorious icon, O sovereign Lady. Nor can we, transgressors, bring from our sinful lips praise worthy of our intercessor. Seeing the innumerable miracles emanating from your icon, with rejoicing in soul and spirit, we proclaim:

REJOICE, O one from whose holy image wonders flow.

REJOICE, O hastening one, hastening to deliver us from misfortunes and sorrows.

REJOICE, O protection, protecting from evil those who run to you.

REJOICE, O gentle radiance, dispersing the darkness of our passions and sins.

REJOICE, O filler of our hearts with love for your Son and yourself.

REJOICE, O one who set us wisely on the way of repentance.

REJOICE, O merciful intercessor before the righteous Judge.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 10

Wishing to save many [35] suffering from the infirmity of drink, you have given us your wondrous icon, O Mother of God, so that all bound by this passion might run to your miraculous image, and having received healing, might in tenderness cry to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 10

A wall are you, O Theotokos, and a shield to those suffering from the infirmity of drink, and to all who sincerely seek you and revere your holy icon; for it was given by our Lord for help and healing from this destructive passion, thus inspiring us to sing to you:

REJOICE, O one who lift our sufferings and give hope to the desperate.

REJOICE, O healer of the illnesses of body and soul.

REJOICE, O pure one, whose purity cleanses us from the stain of sin.

REJOICE, O one whose holiness brings to light our own unworthiness. [36]

REJOICE, O one who vest our mortal flesh with immortal compassion.

REJOICE, O fortifier, fortifying our prayers with your strength.

REJOICE, O disperser of the dark clouds of passion that surround us.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 11

Do not reject, [37] O pure one, the humble hymn we bring you from the fullness of our love and sincerity; and from those suffering from the infirmity of drink and from despair, do not turn your face. But, we implore you, help us that we may be cleansed from every impurity, so that we might worthily and properly sing to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 11

As a blessed candle pouring forth rays of grace, O holy Virgin, you shine in indescribable glory in your holy icon, in the midst of the images of the saints; wherefore we implore you, shine through the darkness of our sins and place us on the path of righteousness, as we call to you in reverence:

REJOICE, O delivering one, and by the intercession of the holy Domnika deliver us from the vanity of this world.

REJOICE, O helper, and by her intercession help us to overcome the passions of the flesh.

REJOICE, O blessed one, and by the prayers of the hoy priestmartyr Kharalampius [38] fill our hearts with blessed thoughts.

REJOICE, O illuminating one, and by his intercession illuminate our unclean consciences.

REJOICE, O delivering one, and by the prayers of the prayers of the holy martyr Paraskeva, deliver those suffering from the infirmity of drink.

REJOICE, O bidder, and by her intercession bid us to drink of true repentance andunderstanding.

REJOICE, O consoling one, and with the holy priestmartyr Antipas console embittered souls.

REJOICE, O merciful one, and jointly with his intercession, save those who call to you for help and who glorify your name.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 12

The grace of God present in your icon, The Non-intoxicating Chalice, draws the sorrowing, the deprived, the widows and orphans, and especially those suffering from the infirmity of drink, and no one goes empty away, O pure one; [39] wherefore, generously receiving of the divine gifts that flow from your wonderworking image, O most gracious one, with gratitude they sing to God: ALLELUIA!

 

IKOS 12

Singing your wonders and great mercy that are revealed to those suffering from the passion of drink, we implore you, O sovereign one, save, have mercy on us, and set us on the path of righteousness; and do not forsake us who seek your holy protection and call to you:

REJOICE, O one who draw to soberness those fallen in the sin of drink.

REJOICE, O freeing one, freeing us from the passion for drink by the dew of yourmercy.

REJOICE, O constant attender of those suffering from the oppressive sin of drunkenness. [40]

REJOICE, O attentive one, hastening to those who suffer from grievous passions. [41]

REJOICE, O encouraging one, in whom those fallen in spirit find encouragement.

REJOICE, O great joy of the upright in heart.

REJOICE, O one who bring the proud ones low.

REJOICE, O one who elevate the humble and are desirous of salvation for all.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 13

O most merciful mother of our sweetest [42] Lord Jesus Christ: hear our present prayers, and deliver us from every infirmity of the soul and of the flesh, and especially free your servant(s), ___(names(s) )___, suffering from the infirmity of drink, that he (she, they) might not perish, but might be saved and always sing to God:

            ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

            [ This Kontak is read three times, and followed by Ikos 1 and Kontak 1 ]

 

IKOS 1

Angelic powers and assemblies of the righteous glorify you unceasingly, O Theotokos, Queen of all, interceding for us, unworthy servants, dwelling in lawlessness and transgressions; yet for consolation and salvation in your mercy, you give us your wonderworking icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only bright star among a multitude, we might fall down and from the depths of our hearts cry out to you:

REJOICE, O dwelling-place of the unapproachable Godhead.

REJOICE, unceasing wonder of man.

REJOICE, O one who remove from us the grief of our sins.

REJOICE, O healing one, who heal the hurts of our infirmities.

REJOICE, O one through whose wonderworking image mercy is given from on high.

REJOICE, O one whose treasures revealed bring rejoicing to our hearts.

REJOICE, O most wondrous of God's reconciliations.

REJOICE, O one who deliver us forever from Gehenna.

REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, who satisfy our spiritual thirst!

 

KONTAK 1

Select and wondrous deliverance has been given to us by your holy image, O sovereign Lady Theotokos, which through its appearance has delivered us from afflictions of the spirit and flesh and from sorrowful circumstances, wherefore we bring you our thankful praise, O most merciful intercessor. Incline yourself in mercy toward us, O Chalice of Non-intoxication, we call you, heed our sighs and heartfelt cries and deliver us suffering from the infirmity of drink, as with faith we cry out to you: REJOICE, O SOVEREIGN LADY, O CHALICE OF NON-INTOXICATION, WHO SATISFY OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

 

FIRST PRAYER

Most merciful Queen, our hope, O holy Theotokos, you are a refuge of orphans and a protector of strangers, a help to those in need, and a consoling cover to those given to bitterness.[43] See our misfortunes, our sorrows: from all sides we are assailed by temptations and there is no one to protect us. You are our sole help, for we are weak. Feed us, for we are strangers. Set us on the right way, for we are lost. Heal us and save us, for we are without hope. We have no other help, no other protection or comfort but you, O Mother of the suffering and of the burdened. Look upon us, existing in sin and bitterness, and cover us with your pure veil [44] of protection. May we be delivered from every evil that assails us, and especially from drunkenness. And grant that we would always praise your most holy name forever and ever.

R:        Amen!

 

SECOND PRAYER

O most merciful sovereign Lady: today do we run to your holy protection. Do not reject our petitions, but graciously hear us: the wives, the children and mothers, and all those bound by the infirmity of drink. Hear us for the sake of our Mother, the Church of Christ, and for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who have fallen away, and for the healing of the members of our families.

O gracious Mother of God, touch their hearts and raise them up who are fallen in sin, and establish them on the path of saving temperance.

Implore your Son, Christ our God, that He would forgive us our sins, and that He would not

turn His mercy from us, but strengthen us in soberness and chastity.

Accept, most holy Theotokos, the prayers of the mothers and the tears they shed over their children; the prayers of wives, who sob over their husbands' condition; of children, of orphans, and of the destitute; of those under delusion and of all of us, who bow before your icon. And grant that our petitions would be carried by your prayers to the throne of the Highest.

Cover us and preserve us from the wiles and snares of the enemy, and in the dreaded hour of our departure from this earth, enable us to pass through the ordeal without falling, and by your prayers deliver us from eternal condemnation. And grant that the mercy of God would be upon us unto ages of ages.

R:        Amen!

TROPAR (Tone 4)

TODAY WE FAITHFUL COME TO THE DIVINE AND ALL-WONDROUS ICON OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS,

WHO GIVES BELIEVING HEARTS TO DRINK OF HER MERCY FROM THE HEAVENLY CHALICE OF NON-INTOXICATION, AND TO BELIEVING SOULS REVEALS WONDERS.

THEREFORE, SEEING AND HEARING, WE REJOICE IN SPIRIT AND CRY OUT IN JOY:

O MOST MERCIFUL SOVEREIGN LADY,

HEAL OUR INFIRMITIES AND PASSIONS,

PRAYING TO CHRIST OUR GOD,

AND ENTREAT THAT HE WOULD SAVE OUR SOULS.

1994

Archdiocese of Canada

Orthodox Church in America

Box 179

SPENCERVILLE, Ontario

Canada

K0E 1X0

rev. 15.12.94

    23.01.95

 

NOTES

[1] This translates "a passion for drink", which describes the spiritual condition of addiction: being bound by a passion, whether it be for alcohol or anything else …

[2] Serpoukhov is a city on the southern edge of the province of Moscow, on the river Nara. At the end of the nineteenth century it was a manufacturing centre, with a population of about 25,000. It is situated almost directly north of Tula, a distance of 75 versts, that is about 80 kilometres. The Efremovskii district of the Tula province is considerably farther south, so the distance the infirm man would have covered, from somewhere near Efremov itself, to Tula, and then to Serpoukhov, was in the range of over 180 versts, or about 200 kilometres. Serpoukhov had two monasteries, both dating from the fourteenth century, when the principalities of Rus' were still paying tribute to the Mongol Golden Horde. The monastery described here, also called Vvedenskii - Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple, was founded in 1360 - 1362 by the holy Aleksius, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus', and built by his beloved disciple Varlaam. A men's monastery intil 1806, when it became a women's monastery, it was located one verst from Serpoukhov, and was constructed of natural stone. Besides the icon The Inexhaustible Cup, the monastery had another well-known and revered icon, The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, and Holy John Voin (the warrior), dating to the fourteenth century. [John Voin: likely John Kalita, gatherer of the russian lands, who after a warring career, in about 1340 was tonsured, and gave his son Andrey the city of Serpoukhov as part of this inheritance.] Of the other monastery, Visotskii, little is presently known.

[3] Vladichitsa Bogoroditsa - The Sovereign Lady Theotokos.

[4] Inexhaustible Cup, as the translation is rendered in the first translation, is also rendered Non-intoxicating Chalice, as preferred by some. This icon was nevertheless glorified in the five-hundredth year after the repose of Metropolitan Aleksii (1378), who was later canonised and revered as a wonderworker. The blessed Varlaam, who appeared to the infirm man in the dreams, is listed as uncanonised in the 1892 Tsarist Encyclopaedia. He fell asleep one year earlier than the metropolitan (1377), and his grave is located near the entrance to the monastery chapel. It is noteworthy that not all regarded by the faithful as saints are "officially" canonised.

[5] Riznitsa - a vestry or sacristy.

[6] Varlaam is the usual slavonic rendering of Barlaam.

[7] We are presenting two renderings of this Akathist: this first is by Sister Dorofea (Mirochnitchenko), currently of Ottawa; the second is by Mrs Katherine Szalasznyj, of Saskatoon - the first being interpretive, the second more literal.

[8] Izbrannoe: select, particular.

[9] A variant on Non-intoxicating Chalice.

[10] Lit: "intercessor for the sinful race of christians, dwelling in lawlessness and transgressions."

[11] Bozhestvo: Godhead.

[12] Nine repetitions of "Rejoice" per Ikos.

[13] tortures of the soul in original. In original Ikos 2 is in present tense.

[14] popetchenie: mark, stamp

[15] present tense

[16] Wellspring: source of continual supply. Istotchnik: spring, source.

[17] Burya: storm

[18] slysha: lit. hearing

[19] References may include tremors and hallucinations, as well as interior turmoil associated with the cause.

[20] Iconographic imagery

[21] "from the south" because of the location of Serpoukhov

[22] That is, copies made like it

[23] Lit: Rejoice, O one whose glory is shown to the limits of Moscow.

[24] Lit: the world, the flesh, the devil and drunkenness

[25] ot vinnago pristrastiya - Lit: from wine-ish passion

[26] vozderzhaniyu

[27] Lit: holy teenager

[28] Lit: … as in a vessel, so in the Chalice of Non-intoxication, as we see you depicted in your icon, a mystery revealed …

[29] present tense

[30] prisnotekushchaya: always flowing

[31] Lit: under the weight of sin

[32] lobyzat': perhaps "venerate". The "lob" part of the word refers to the forehead, suggesting kissing the forehead of the image; or, more likely, kissing the icon, and touching the forehead to the image, as is very commonly done.

[33] Note repetition of bitterness. Also, russians often say "bitter, bitter" when drinking vodka.

[34] Vetii: a word used with orators, philosophers.

[35] mnogiye: many

[36] nedostoïnstvo: unworthiness

[37] prezri: reject, scorn, despise

[38] Kharalampii: Probably hieromartyr Charalampus, bishop of Magnesia in Thessaly, martyred in AD 202, aged 113, under Emperor Septimus.

[39] Orig: no one goes empty away, O pure one, from the non-intoxicating chalice of divine gifts.

[40] Heavy, or oppressive sin: perhaps addiction

[41] possible extrapolation of dependence

[42] Sladtchaishego: sweetest

[43] How does the Mother of God help those who are bitter? We see here, by covering.

[44] Omophor: omophor of protection.

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