The 7th Day of October

COMMEMORATION OF OUR FATHER AMONG THE SAINTS JONAH, BISHOP OF HANCOW

Note about this text:  This text is primarily the work the Reader Isaac E. Lambertsen. It draws upon the Slavonic service used at the glorification of St. Jonah (composed by Archbishop Alypy and Fr. Seraphim Gan); however, this was only a partial text consisting of three stichera and a doxasticon at “Lord I have cried…”, a doxasticon for the aposticha, a kontakion and ikos, a doxasticon at the praises, a troparion, and a prayer to St. Jonah .  The sessional hymn following Ode III was composed in English by Priest John Whiteford. The rest of the service was composed entirely by Reader Isaac, and is presented here with his permission.  The parish is greatly indebted to Br. Isaac for his labor in producing this text, and his generosity in making this text available to all who wish to honor the memory of St. Jonah. Special thanks are also due Protodeacon Leonid Mickle, who first translated the original Slavonic (partial) text into English just in time for our parish’s first feast day.

 

Revised 10-18-2002

 

At Great Vespers

 

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

 

On “Lord, I have cried...”, 8 stichera: 4 in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: “Having set aside...” –

 

          Clothed in the angelic habit, O God-bearing Jonah, thou madest thine abode in the Hermitage of Optina, laying up in thy heart the sayings of the most wise elders, thereby enriching thyself with knowledge divine.  Wherefore, thy glorious labors are greatly extolled, whereby thy flock is edified, O thou who in spirit art like unto thy monastic instructors.  Twice  

 

          Be glad and rejoice, O devastated Russia, for in thee did Christ light a candle most bright, the holy hierarch Jonah, who was made wise by God, and who by his virtuous life in the city of Manzhouli attracted those of other faiths and those who had abandoned godliness.  By his supplications, O Christ, in Thy lovingkindness send down upon us Thy great mercy.  

 

          As a fulfiller of the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father Jonah, thou didst feed the hungry, gavest drink to those athirst, and didst visit the sick and the imprisoned.  Wherefore, O most glorious hierarch, entreat the Master of all, that in His great love for mankind, He have mercy upon us, that we may all be saved on the dread day of His righteous judgment.

 

And 4 stichera in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “Joy of the ranks of heaven...” –

 

          The holy elders of Optina, who shine with splendor in the firmament of the Church as most brilliant noetic stars, greet the holy hierarch Jonah, admitting him to their radiant constellation, where with them he sheddeth the light of grace upon us all.  Twice

 

           The venerable Joseph and Anatolius, perceiving the goodness of thy soul and thy steadfastness in faith and piety, rejoiced greatly in thee, giving thanks unto the Lord of hosts, that He had brought such a wondrous athlete to them to be trained for the spiritual struggle.

 

          With love for God and neighbor, the blessed Jonah enlisted in the army of the Lord, contending against the noetic foe with all the powers of his soul; and when the earthly foe assailed the Russian land, as a priest of God he bravely ministered to those who defended Faith, Tsar and Fatherland.

 

Glory..., in Tone III –

          O holy father Jonah, intercessor for orphans, in thy way of life thou didst emulate the holy hierarch of Novgorod, whose namesake thou wast; for as he cared for the needs of orphans, so didst thou tend well the flock entrusted unto thee; and ever performing wonders after thy repose, with him do thou entreat the Lord, that He save and enlighten those who celebrate thy most honored memory with faith.

 

Now & ever...: Dogmatic theotokion, in the same tone.

 

Entrance.  Prokimenon of the day.  Three readings:

 

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.

 

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon.

          When the righteous is praised, the people will rejoice; for his memory is immortality, because it is known with God, and with men; for his soul pleased the Lord.  Love wisdom, therefore, O men, and live; desire her, and ye shall be instructed.  For the beginning of her is love and the observation of the law.  Honor wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore.  I will tell you, and will not hide from you the mysteries of God, for he it is who is the instructor of wisdom, the director of the wise, the master of all understanding and activity.  And wisdom teacheth all understanding; for in her is a spirit understanding and holy, the brightness of the everlasting light, and the image of the goodness of God.  She maketh friends of God, and prophets; she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the constellations of the stars; compared with the light, she is found pre-eminent.  She hath delivered from pain them that please her, and guided them in right paths, given them knowledge of holy things, defended them from their enemies, and given them a mighty struggle, that they might all know that godliness is stronger than all; vice shall never prevail against wisdom, neither shall judgment pass away without convicting the evil.  For they said to themselves, reasoning unrighteously:  Let us oppress the righteous man, let us not spare his holiness, neither need we be ashamed of the ancient gray hairs of the aged, for our strength shall be a law unto us; let us lie in wait for the righteous, for he is displeasing to us, opposeth our doings, upbraideth us with our offending the law, and denounceth to our infamy the transgressions of our training.  He professeth to have the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the child of the Lord.  He is become a reproof to our thoughts, and is grievous even for us to behold; for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion.  We are accounted by him as a mockery, and he avoideth our ways as filth, and pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed.  Let us see if his words be true; let us test what things happen to him.  Let us examine him with mockery and torture, that we may know his meekness and prove his forbearance.  Let us condemn him with a shameful death, for by his own words shall he be visited.  Such things did they imagine, and were deceived; for their own wickedness blinded them.  As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not; neither bethought they that Thou alone art God, who hast the power of life and death, savest in time of tribulation, and deliverest from all evil; who art compassionate and merciful, givest grace to Thy saints and opposest the prideful with Thine own arm.

 

At Litia, the sticheron of the temple; and this sticheron of the holy hierarch, in Tone VI –

 

          Come, ye assemblies of the Orthodox, ye companies of the pious, and in glorification let us lift up our voices unto God, Who is wondrous in His saints, for in His ineffable mercy and lovingkindness He hath given us the holy hierarch Jonah as a good shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep of his flock, withstanding the predations of the spiritual wolves.  Ye faithful of China, join us in chanting praises to our heavenly instructor, for guided by his light, we plainly see the way to salvation.

 

Glory..., in the same tone –

 

          When the hordes of the ungodly assailed the pious, subjecting them to torture and persecution, the godless smote the venerable one and would have condemned him to death for his faith; but in the providence of God he was freed from his vile captivity, for which in meekness and humility he gave thanks to the Lord for his salvation.

 

Now & ever...: Theotokion, in the same tone –

 

          No one who hath recourse to thee, O all-pure Virgin Theotokos, departeth from thee ashamed; for he asketh grace and receiveth a gift for his profitable petition.

 

Aposticha stichera, in Tone VI: Spec. Mel.: “On the third day...” –

 

          Mindful of the words of the holy Apostle Paul, that here on earth we have no continuing city, but we seek rather the promised land on high, thou didst depart thy beloved homeland, O saint, that thou mightest find refuge in the promised land of heaven.

 

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

 

          Fleeing the malice of the ungodly, O Jonah, thou didst scale mighty mountains and cross arid plains, but ever mindful of the words of him who crieth in the wilderness, thou didst prepare the ways of the Lord, making straight a highway for God in the desert.

 

          Stichos:  Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy righteous shall rejoice.

 

          Thou didst not falter when thou didst follow Christ, O ever-memorable one, for in thy progress through life thou didst manifestly see that every valley was exalted, every mountain and hill were made low, the crooked paths made straight and the rough places plain.

 

Glory..., in Tone VIII –

 

          A good shepherd and fervent teacher wast thou for thy flock, O holy hierarch Jonah, and we ever extol thee in hymnody as the splendid ornament of the Church of God.  Wherefore, we beseech thee: Never cease to pray for those who hymn thee and keep thy memory; and ever intercede, that we be granted remission of sins and salvation for our souls.

 

Now & ever...: Theotokion, in the same tone –

 

          O unwedded Virgin who didst ineffably conceive God in the flesh, Mother of God Most High: Accept the entreaties of thy servants, O most immaculate one, granting unto all cleansing of transgressions; and, accepting now our supplications, pray thou that we all be saved.

 

Troparion of the holy hierarch, in Tone IV –

 

          Thou wast a good pastor for the Russian people, who had departed in exodus to live in a foreign land, guiding them in every way, but especially by the love of Christ, in all ways providing a model of love unfeigned.  O father Jonah, holy hierarch of Christ, entreat Him for the salvation of our souls.

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Resurrectional theotokion, in the same tone.

 

At Matins

 

At “God is the Lord...”, the troparion of the saint, twice; Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion.

 

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone V: Spec. Mel.: “The Word Who is equally unoriginate...” –

 

          With hymns let us laud the holy hierarch of the Lord as one who lawfully ran the good race of the Christian life, with patience truly put to shame the adverse foe and set his arrogance at nought, and now prayeth that our souls find mercy.  Twice

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion –

 

          Awesome is the miracle of thy conceiving, O pure Ever-virgin, and the ineffable image of birthgiving known in thee filleth my mind with awe and amazeth my thoughts.  Thy glory hath spread over all, O Theotokos, unto the salvation of our souls.

 

After the second chanting of the Psalter, this sessional hymn, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: “Thy tomb, O Savior...” –

 

          Carefully tending the vineyard of the Lord, thou didst reap a goodly vintage by thy virtuous labors; for the souls of those in thy care, crushed like grapes in the wine-press of grievous exile, have produced for thee the wine of praise which gladdeneth thy Master.

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion –

 

          The prophets clearly announced thee beforehand, O Maiden Mother of God, the divine apostles proclaimed thee in the world, and we have believed on thee.  Wherefore, honoring thee with pious mind, we all chant unto thee and ever call thee the true Theotokos.

 

Polyeleos, and this magnification –

 

          We magnify thee, O holy hierarch Jonah, and we honor thy holy memory; for thou dost entreat Christ God in our behalf.

 

Selected Psalm verses –

A       Hear this, all ye nations; give ear, all ye that inhabit the world.       [Ps. 48: 2]

B       My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.     [Ps. 48: 4]

A       Come, ye children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.          [Ps. 33: 12]

B       I have proclaimed the good tidings of Thy righteousness in the great congregation.          [Ps. 39: 10]

A       Thy truth and Thy salvation have I declared.      [Ps. 39: 11]

B       I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I hymn Thee.          [Ps. 21: 23]

A       That I may hear the voice of Thy praise, and tell of all Thy wondrous works.    [Ps. 25: 7]

B       O Lord, I have loved the beauty of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth.          [Ps. 25: 8]

A       I have hated the congregation of evil-doers, and with the ungodly will I not sit.  [Ps. 25: 5]

B       For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and I have not acted impiously toward my God.          [Ps. 17: 22]

A       The mouth of the righteous shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak of judgment.    [Ps. 36: 30]

B       His righteousness abideth unto ages of ages.       [Ps. 110: 3]

A       Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy righteous shall rejoice.          [Ps. 131: 9]

B       Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; unto ages of ages shall they praise Thee.          [Ps. 83: 5]

 

Glory..., Now & ever...Alleluia... Thrice.

 

After the Polyeleos, this sessional hymn, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “Of the Wisdom...” –

 

                   Taken early under the protection of the all-pure Mother of God, O holy hierarch Jonah, thou didst love Christ alone with all thy heart and didst cleave unto Him with all thy soul.  Having labored selflessly for the glory of God and the good of thy fellow man, and holding earthly riches and glory to be as dung, in heaven thou hast now received riches which nought can corrupt and glory which never fadeth.  Wherefore, we bless thy holy repose, and, celebrating thy memory with solemnity, we cry out to thee with fervor: O divinely wise father Jonah, entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of sins unto those who honor thee with faith.

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion –

 

                   All of us, the generations of mankind, bless thee who without seed gavest birth to God in the flesh, as her who alone among women wast Virgin; for the fire of the Godhead made its abode within thee, and thou didst give suck unto our Lord and Creator as a babe.  Wherefore, we, the race of angels and of men, glorify thine all-holy birthgiving as is meet, and with one accord cry aloud unto thee:  Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions to those who hymn thy glory as is meet.

 

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 John, Section 35 from the midpoint

(Jn. 10: 1-9)

          The Lord said to the Jews who came to Him: “Verily, verily, I say unto you: He who entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  But he who entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”  This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which He spake unto them.  Then said Jesus unto them again: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

 

After Psalm 50, this sticheron, in Tone VI –

 

          Come, let us praise Jonah, our good shepherd and loving pastor, who by his good works, Christian virtues and steadfast faith in God hath taught us to tread the path which leadeth to the kingdom of heaven.  And mindful of the sacred words of Andrew of Crete, which our holy father heard as he committed his soul to Christ the Master, “My soul, my soul, arise!  Why sleepest thou?  The end approacheth, and thou must needs suffer grief!”, let us carefully prepare for our own judgment, beseeching Christ to spare us at the pleas of the holy hierarch.

 

Canon of Supplication to the Theotokos [the Paraclesis], with 6 troparia, including the irmos; and this canon of the holy hierarch, with 8 troparia, the acrostic whereof is “Beg mercy for us, O Jonah, hierarch of God”, in Tone II –

 

Ode I

         

Irmos:  Traversing the impassable, uncommon path of the sea dryshod, Israel the chosen cried aloud: Let us chant unto the Lord, for He hath been glorified!

 

          Burn the stain from my vile lips, O Christ, that I may praise the holy Jonah as is meet, chanting unto Thee, O Master, Who art glorious in Thy saints.

 

          Ever sheltering us beneath the wings of thy protection, O saint of God, guide us to the choirs of the elect of God, which glorify Him without ceasing.

 

          Great recompense hast thou received from the Lord, standing forth before His heavenly throne, where thou dost glorify Him exceedingly.

 

          Theotokion:  Mother of God and Virgin art thou, alone among all women, O Theotokos, for thou gavest flesh of thy pure blood to the King of glory.

 

Katavasia: “I will open my mouth...” –

 

Ode III

         

Irmos:  The bow of the mighty hath been broken by Thy might, O Christ, and the strengthless have girded themselves with power.

 

          Entering upon thine archpastoral ministry, O holy hierarch, thou didst preach the word of God with great power and eloquence.

 

          Remembering the wondrous mercies of the Lord, thou didst call upon thy flock to repent and be reconciled with Him, O saint of God.

 

          Care didst thou show for those bereft of parents and family, O wondrous Jonah, tending to the needs both of their souls and bodies.

 

          Theotokion:  Ye Orthodox faithful, bow down in homage before the precious icons of the Mother of God, for God showeth His power through them.

Sessional hymn, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Of the divine Faith...” –

 

          Though afflicted by tribulations, yet didst thou steadfastly keep the Orthodox Faith in a foreign land,  where, tending Christ’s flock, thou wast a father to orphans, O holy father Jonah; and even now, ever remaining with thy flock, thou prayest without ceasing for those who honor thee.

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion –

 

          In the fervor of faith I cry out to thee with unworthy mouth and a heart defiled, O Theotokos: Save me who am sinking beneath the burden of my sins!  Take pity on one who is dying in despair, that, saved, I may cry to thee with compunction: Rejoice, O Virgin, thou help of Christians!

 

Ode IV

 

Irmos:  I heard report of Thee and was afraid, O Lord; I understood Thy works, and marveled and cried out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

 

          Fount of grace and well-spring of compassion hast thou been shown to be, O Jonah, who didst cry: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

 

          O the Christian love thou didst show to the poor and needy, O holy one, nourishing their bodies and tending their immortal souls!

 

          Rising early to pray to the Lord, thou didst contemplate His marvelous works, and didst ever cry: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

 

          Theotokion:  Under thy protection do we sinners flee, O Maiden, Bride of God; and, rescued from evils, we cry: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

 

Ode V

 

Irmos:  Night hath passed; the day hath drawn nigh, and light hath shone upon the world.  Wherefore, the ranks of angels praise Thee, and all things glorify Thee.

 

          Singing hymns of praise to the Most High with the choirs of the angels and saints, beseech Him to have pity on those who honor thee, O ever-memorable one.

 

          O boast of Kaluga and glory of Kozel’sk, shed the light of divine grace upon thy native land, dispelling utterly the oppressive darkness of ungodliness.

 

          Joining chorus on high with the incorporeal beings, O Jonah, thou dost mercifully emit the light of grace upon the sheep and lambs of thine earthly flock.

 

          Theotokion:  O the magnitude of thy mercy, O all-blessed and holy Theotokos!  For, standing with the angels at the throne of thy Son, thou prayest that all be saved.

 

Ode VI

 

Irmos:  The uttermost abyss of offenses hath surrounded me, O Lord, but lead up my life from corruption, as Thou didst the Prophet Jonah, O Lord.

 

          Nethermost hades seeketh to devour us, O Lord, but hearken Thou to the supplications of Thy holy hierarch, and free us wholly from its vile jaws.

 

          Abysmal despondency assaileth us, O Merciful One, and temptations corrupt us; but at the entreaties of blessed Jonah restore us to chastity.

 

          Having bravely trodden the path of life, thou didst reach the end of thy journey, chanting to the Lord, Who hath been glorified by thee, O Jonah.

 

          Theotokion:  Holy is the Lord our God, Who was begotten of the Father before the ages, and was ineffably born of the Virgin in the fullness of time.

 

Kontakion, in Tone III –

 

          Thou didst not forbid the children to come to thee, O divinely blessed one, taking care for their daily needs, and establishing a safe haven for them.  And even after thy repose thou hast not forsaken them; for in a dream thou didst heal a paralyzed boy.  Wherefore, we cry out to thee:  Rejoice, O all-glorious wonderworker Jonah!

 

          Ikos:  Having acquired true and heartfelt love for God and neighbor, O holy hierarch, thou didst cry out to thy flock: "O children, love ye one another!"  Thus wast thou a model for all in word and deed, in love, spirit, faith and purity; wherefore, many wonders and signs of God's power were manifested in thee to the faithful.  As thou standest now amid the incorporeal hosts of heaven, yet dost thou remain inseparable from thy children.  O thou who communest with the saints, by thine intercessions guard us from all demonic assaults, and lift up to the heights of love the hearts of those who with thanksgiving cry unto thee: Rejoice, O all-glorious wonderworker Jonah!

 

Ode VII

 

Irmos:  The three children, who showed forth an image of the Trinity in the furnace, proclaimed the King and Lord, and set at nought the deception of the idol, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

 

          Infirmities and ailments afflict thy children, O merciful father Jonah; but treat them with the grace which floweth from thee, that we may cry aloud to the Lord: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

 

          Everlasting life hast thou inherited in the kingdom of the Trinity, for having served thy Lord, thou dwellest forever in the mansions of heaven, crying: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

 

          Repelling the onslaught of the ravening wolves who seek to devour the sheep of thy flock, thou dost drive them afar off with thy shepherd’s staff, crying in victory: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

 

          Theotokion:  All our sins are forgiven by the Savior Who was crucified and died for our sake, and Who gave thee to us, O Virgin, as our Mother; wherefore,  we cry out in joy: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!

 

Ode VIII

 

Irmos:  Once, in Babylon, the fiery furnace divided its activity at the command of God, consuming the Chaldeans, but bedewing the faithful, who chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Remission of our transgressions and offenses do thou beg of the just Judge, O our gracious advocate; that spared from damnation by His mercy, we may cry: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Carrying thy cross upon thy shoulders as a light burden, thou didst walk the path of sorrow with cheerful countenance, O Jonah, ever crying aloud: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Hierarchs and priests, the monastics and laity, together praise thy virtues, O most glorious one, and assembling in the churches of God like thee they chant: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Theotokion:  Overwhelmed by the tides of temptations and engulfed by the sea of afflictions, we look not for salvation to any human help; but do thou rescue us from perdition, O Lady, and save thou our souls.

 

Ode IX

 

Irmos:  O ye armies of the angels and multitudes of men, with unceasing hymns let us magnify the all-glorious wonder and awesome mystery, the supernatural conception and ineffable birthgiving!

 

          Far-distant China is wondrously enriched by thy precious remains, O luminary of Hankow, and the whole world is bedewed by the grace in thee, chanting: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Glory didst thou render to the holy hierarch Innocent, by whose church thou wast honorably interred, O godly Jonah; wherefore, for his sake God retaineth thy sacred relics in Manzhouli.

 

          Of thy many virtues do we sing in laudation, O saint of God; in thy great love for us do we find consolation for our souls; and moved by thine example, we cry: Bless the Lord all ye works of the Lord!

 

          Theotokion:  Death lieth in wait for us all, O Mistress, whereat we must give account for our deeds before thy Son; but plead for us, O merciful Mother, and move the Judge to clemency, in that thou art good.

 

Exapostilarion: Spec.. Mel.: “The heaven with stars...” –

 

          As the sun ariseth in the east, shedding light upon all the world, so from the East doth Jonah, the holy hierarch of Hankow, now shine the light of grace upon the whole Church of Christ.  Wherefore, let us who have been scattered over the face of the earth honor him with hymns of praise.

 

Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion –

 

          By thy mighty protection, O pure one, preserve all of us, thy servants, unharmed by the assault of the enemy; for thee alone among women do we have as a refuge amid the misfortunes and afflictions which befall us.

 

On the Praises, 4 stichera, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O all-glorious wonder...” –

 

          O holy father Jonah, thou wast consecrated by the grace of the Holy Spirit for the reason-endowed flock of Christ; and as one who imitated thy Lord and Master, thou hast not ceased to move Him to have pity upon us, thy sinful and wretched children.  Wherefore, ever make entreaty, that He deliver us from all misfortunes, and that He save our souls in His mercy.  Twice

 

          O venerable father Jonah, like the prophet whose name thou didst bear, thou wast sent by the Most High into a far and distant country, there to preach repentance to the sinful and enlighten the benighted.  This task thou didst humbly and meekly fulfill, trusting in the lovingkindness of Christ, Who by thy holy supplications saveth us from the malice of the evil one.

 

          O blessed father Jonah, thou didst manifestly increase the talent which thy Master, Christ, entrusted to thy care; wherefore, thou hast entered into the joy of the Lord, resplendent with the effulgence of grace, shining with the radiance of the Spirit.  And standing now before His throne, thou dost beseech Him earnestly in behalf of those who honor thee with love.

 

Glory..., in Tone VI –

 

          O good and faithful servant, zealous laborer in the vineyard of Christ, wondrous were thine archpastoral struggles in the land of China.  And having increased the talent entrusted to thee, thou wast vouchsafed a truly Christian end, and wast thus transported to the dwellings of the angels in heaven.  Wherefore, having now entered into the joy of thy Lord, entreat Him, O glorious Jonah, that our souls be saved.

 

Now & ever... Theotokion, in the same tone –

 

          O Theotokos, thou art the true vine who hast budded forth for us the Fruit of life.  Entreat Him with the holy hierarch Jonah and all the saints; we pray thee, O Mistress, that our souls find mercy.

At Liturgy

 

On the Beatitudes, 8 troparia: 4 from Ode III and 4 from Ode VI of the canon of the saint.

 

Prokimenon, in Tone I:

 

          My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

 

          Stichos:  Hear this, all ye nations; give ear, all ye that inhabit the world.

 

Epistle to the Hebrews, Section 335  [Heb. 13: 17-21]

 

          Brethren: Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as ones who must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.  But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.  Now the God of peace, Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Alleluia, in Tone II:

 

          Stichos:  The mouth of the righteous shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak of judgment.

 

          Stichos:  The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps shall not be tripped.

 

Gospel according to John, Section 36  (Jn. 10: 9-16)

 

          The Lord said to the Jews who came to Him: “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he who is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.  As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

 

Communion verse:

 

          In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be, he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.

 

All rights reserved by the author.  This provisional version is subject to review and approval by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

 

A Prayer to Saint Jonah, Bishop of Hancow

 

          O blessed Jonah, wondrous ascetic and constant intercessor for us before God!  Thou wast honored with the rank of bishop and didst show a wondrous love toward Christ, Who strengthened thee in thy labors and prodvigs by His grace.  Thou didst serve thy flock and children, and therefore had great boldness on the earth before the Trinity.  When thou didst receive knowledge of thine imminent repose from the physician, thou didst hasten to the Lord with faith and humble prayer, accepting God’s will, lamenting only about thy flock, and especially the children, entreating the Lord not to leave them orphaned.  Now appealing to thy fervent intercession, we earnestly entreat thee: with the merciful eye of thy love look upon us sinners, in need of thy help, strengthen the faithful in fervor, strengthen those who are fighting with their passions in ascetic labors, correct the slothful to struggle in pious zeal.  Help all of us to love one another, as thou didst often admonish to keep this foremost commandment of Christ, and ask for us the visitation of the grace of the Holy Spirit.  That keeping all thine instructions, we may be vouchsafed to inherit the Kingdom of Christ and together with thee, glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit unto the ages of ages.  Amen.