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Akathist Hymn for St Nicholas of Japan

3 December 2015

Akathist to St. Nicholas of Japan

Kontakion 1

Chosen from the people of Russia to bear the glad tidings of Christ to the land if Japan, you laid down thy life for your fathers, strengthening them in the true faith.
Revering your deeds, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Ekos 1

An angel accompanied you, like Tobias of old, when in your youth you directed your steps to this remote land. Therefore we cry unto you thus:
St Nicholas of JapanRejoice, glorious child of the land of Smolensk!
Rejoice, you who loved the Church from your infancy!
Rejoice, you who were not abandoned by the Mother of God in your orphanhood!
Rejoice, you who grew wise in spiritual wisdom!
Rejoice, you who foreknew your path at an all-night vigil!
Rejoice, you who defied worldly delights
Rejoice, you who were made worthy of both monkhood and priesthood!
Rejoice, you who craved for preaching the Gospel!
Rejoice, you who were full of compassion for those ignorant of salvation!
Rejoice, you who loved people far equally to those near!
Rejoice, you who did not fear persecutions!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 2

Beholding the deeds of Saint Innocent, the divinely wise enlightener of Siberia and Alaska, the righteous youth yearned to pursue his path, crying:
Alleluia!

Ekos 2

You appeared wise and humble, O holy one, in praying to the Lord for the gift of tongues: “How shall I preach to people strange, how shall I open my inexpert lips?” Hearing you God-loving words, as you instructed your flock in their native tongue, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, you who triumphed in the love of Christ!
Rejoice, you who guided spiritual infants!
Rejoice, you who turned your adversaries into your children!
Rejoice, you who washed their sins away by baptism!
Rejoice, you who strengthened faith by knowledge!
Rejoice, good and caring guide!
Rejoice, ordainer of Japanese presbyters!
Rejoice, establisher of the Church order!
Rejoice, defender of all the faithful!
Rejoice, proponent of brotherly concord!
Rejoice, champion of the Orthodox faith!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 3

The power of the Highest overshadowed and strengthened you, O father, when you came to a pagan land that put its children to death for receiving baptism. And you, discerning a field of God, cried:
Alleluia!

Ekos 3

Having sincere love, you regarded this land as a bride adorned, awaiting for the bridegroom at the marriage feast, as she had known betrothal, being covered in blood of the martyrs of old, being brightened by the elders and women crucified, and by the children who professed their faith in Christ. Revering your just hope, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, holy one of the Spirit!
Rejoice, strengthened by the power of the Cross!
Rejoice, steadfast pillar!
Rejoice, fearless pastor!
Rejoice, undaunted mind!
Rejoice, unceasing preacher!
Rejoice, you who judged no one!
Rejoice, you who were not judged!
Rejoice, fellow of the confessors!
Rejoice, true man of prayer!
Rejoice, dear one of your guardian angel!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 4

Seeing how the Church was being built, servants of idols raised a storm, unable to brook the Christian spirit. But you, rejoicing in the patience of your children imprisoned in dungeons, cried together with them:
Alleluia!

Ekos 4

Hearing that the teaching of Christ embraces all nations and accepts them equally, and that the Lord prepared many mansions for them, men and women, children and elders came to you, O good pastor. Therefore we praise you thus:
Rejoice, you who gathered a small flock of Christ!
Rejoice, you who lead them to God by the narrow path!
Rejoice, you who followed the example of the church of Aquila and Priscilla!
Rejoice, you who established house churches!
Rejoice, you who blessed agape meals!
Rejoice, you who never abandoned your children in distress!
Rejoice, you who consigned weak children to the care of strong ones!
Rejoice, you who supported the weak with your fatherly hand!
Rejoice, you who sowed wisely the field of Christ!
Rejoice, you who built the Church on the firm rock!
Rejoice, diligent servant who never hid his talent!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 5

You appeared as a divinely-moving star of God, O father, zealously serving the Sun of Justice and guiding the faithful to the Lord like the star of Bethlehem in the old days. Clothed in the Light you bore, we cry to Christ:
Alleluia!

Ekos 5

Seeing pagan shrines and Buddhist pagodas, the righteous one wept and prayed: “Where shall I build a Church for Thee, O Lord?”, and the prayer of his heart was heard.
Rejoice, as the deer on the water brooks!
Rejoice, you who erected the temple of Resurrection of Christ!
Rejoice, you who reared the Cross above the capital city!
Rejoice, you who made the bells toll to Heaven!
Rejoice, you who extinguished the fire of Christian persecutions!
Rejoice, you who acquired a good name among the Japanese people!
Rejoice, you who did not offend the ancient customs!
Rejoice, you who became a friend and a brother of the Japanese nation!
Rejoice, God-sent bearer of the Light!
Rejoice, faithful steward of the Lord!
Rejoice, now crowned with heavenly glory!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 6

Preachers of the Holy Gospel rejoice in their heavenly abodes, greeting you as their fellow. And we, your earthly family, beholding such grace, sing to God:
Alleluia!

Ekos 6

Having first shined in the land of Smolensk, you now join All Saints of the Russian land: behold Saint Demetrius of Rostov, a melodious flute of the Spirit; behold Saint Tikhon, the pride of Zadonsk, a gatherer of the treasures of wisdom; behold Saint Stephen, the enlightener of Perm; behold Saint Sergius, Zosimus, and Sabbatius of the Solovki, a consolation of Russia,; behold all the Saints, both hidden and disclosed, the Divine Light of your fatherland. And we, full of great joy, praise the new Saint:
Rejoice, son of a country deacon!
Rejoice, you who had known indigence from childhood!
Rejoice, you who made the vow of poverty!
Rejoice, you who kept your monastic vows till death!
Rejoice, bishop who many times mended vestments!
Rejoice, you who dwelled in humble huts!
Rejoice, you who never sought worldly things in the world!
Rejoice, guide of the new converts!
Rejoice, baptizer of the Ainu fishermen!
Rejoice, you who reached the utmost lands!
Rejoice, you who reared fellow champions in your school!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 7

Preparing to depart from earth into heaven, the blessed one said: “What do I need this body for, tormented by illnesses, if I cannot labour for the Lord? I leave this bodily temple, crying:
Alleluia!”

Ekos 7

There was a new feast in the capital city of Japan: the Saint celebrated Easter at the cathedral in Tokyo, and the Japanese people got to know the true Pascha of salvation. And we, remembering that day, cry loudly:
Rejoice, you who preserved love in a cruel epoch!
Rejoice, governor of the feast of the Church!
Rejoice, elder of unslumbering eyes!
Rejoice, father, greeting your children with a kiss!
Rejoice, you who set forth your children before the Lord!
Rejoice, you who won the grace of the Spirit by daily labours!
Rejoice, you who saw the fruits of your efforts at your departure!
Rejoice, you who threw a mustard seed into the earth!
Rejoice, you who left us a beautiful tree!
Rejoice, living bridge of the Christian world!
Rejoice with angelic joy at the day of your Lord’s Resurrection!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 8

Beholding a strange wonder, as Japanese children of Christ served Russian war prisoners as their brothers, we sing a song to the Lord:
Alleluia!

Ekos 8

You gave yourself over to the service of God, and also served people incessantly, combining both commandments. Admiring your royal road, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, wise servant of God!
Rejoice, you who offered the priestly sacrifices for the nations!
Rejoice, protector of Russian war prisoners!
Rejoice, you who did not abandon your children in the war storm!
Rejoice, you who remained loyal to your native country!
Rejoice, teacher of mercy and courage!
Rejoice, you who led tempted souls to chastity!
Rejoice, refuge of the outcast!
Rejoice, treasure of humbleness!
Rejoice, abode of repentance!
Rejoice, love invincible!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 9

Every tree is known by its fruit, and your great labour bore the fruit of salvation for many people. Therefore we cry:
Alleluia!

Ekos 9

Most eloquent orators are amazed at your deeds, angels rejoice with you. And we, beholding your humble life and mighty patience, praise you thus:
Rejoice, you who laboured zealously not in ancient times, but in our days!
Rejoice, worthy image of an Orthodox archpastor!
Rejoice, profound exposure of our sins!
Rejoice, sinless confession of Christ!
Rejoice, true measure of prudence!
Rejoice, treasure gathered in the Spirit!
Rejoice, treasure spent for one’s neighbours!
Rejoice, you who are repaid a thousandfold!
Rejoice, full of immortal joy!
Rejoice, you who appease our agonies!
Rejoice, you who accept our prayers with fatherly love!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 10

You set out to save desperate people, ignorant of the One True God. Now your children, who saw great light in the region and shadow of death, cry to the Lord:
Alleluia!

Ekos 10

“Thou art our bulwark, O Holy Virgin!”, prayed the Saint fervently amidst his labours, establishing the Church. It stood unshielded among the Gentiles, as on a storm-swept island. And we, beholding its fortitude and fidelity, cry to you thus:
Rejoice, you who shielded your Church with secure protection!
Rejoice, you who committed the converts to the Virgin Mother of God!
Rejoice, you who taught maidens to pray!
Rejoice, you who led them to the light of chastity!
Rejoice, you who blessed Japanese families and consecrated their marriage bonds!
Rejoice, holy mirror of true judgments!
Rejoice, you who brought peace to villages and cities!
Rejoice, you who found strength in faith amidst troubles!
Rejoice, you who supported your elderly father until his death!
Rejoice, you who lived in the world, but remained free from the world!
Rejoice, you who were mourned by all at your decease!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 11

Every hymn is defeated that tries to encompass your apostolic service, O Saint, and together with you we say:
Alleluia!

Ekos 11

The Church of Japan received the light of good tidings in its native tongue, owing that to your labour, O true enlightener. You followed in the footsteps of the Ecumenical Teachers, using your wisdom-loving mind to serve the heavenly wisdom. Revering your good deeds, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, you who cognized the Holy Scripture!
Rejoice, you who passed it on to the children of men!
Rejoice, you who found the worthy words!
Rejoice, you who rejected the wrong and false ones!
Rejoice, you who perceived your efforts as a common work of the Church!
Rejoice, you who peacefully reposed from your labours!
Rejoice, you who brought the Word close to the people!
Rejoice, you who gave the Japanese Church the Divine Worship in its native tongue!
Rejoice, you who discarded every sophistication!
Rejoice, you who nourished your children with milk and honey!
Rejoice, you who humbled the pride of the hypocrites!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 12

The grace abided in you, revealing the holiness of your service. Even though you never performed miracles, just as St. John the Baptist never did, your all-surpassing evidence is the new Church, established by the miraculous power of God in our days. Together with it we sing with one heart:
Alleluia!

Ekos 12

Singing your glorification, as your name is included among the Saints, O brother and pastor, we praise you thus:
Rejoice, you who established the Church in our days by your holiness!
Rejoice, relief from earthly sorrows!
Rejoice, gentle blowing of the grace!
Rejoice, helper of those who fled unto you!
Rejoice, co-partaker of spiritual labourers!
Rejoice, good gardener and flower-keeper!
Rejoice, you who remedy our discords!
Rejoice, you who meet your children in the heavenly abodes!
Rejoice, you who commemorate those who commemorate you!
Rejoice, calmer of the stormy seas!
Rejoice, star of the Occident and the Orient!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, equal to the apostles, defender of the Church of Japan!

Kontakion 13

O most holy and most wonderful, most glorious and most marvellous enlightener of the land of Japan, constantly praying for us before the throne of the Holy Trinity, Saint Father Nicholas, equal to the apostles! Accept our present offering and entreat our God the Saviour and His Holy Virgin Mother that through your intercession He may illuminate with the light of Orthodoxy the nations you enlightened and our own country, and that He may deliver us from every assault of our enemies visible and invisible, from bane and temptations, misfortunes and distresses, and grant us forgiveness of sins and deliverance from the eternal death, and make us worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven, that together with you and all the Saints we may sing to the Holy Trinity unto ages of ages:
Alleluia!

Prayer

O all-praised Mother Who didst lead Saint Nicholas, equal to the apostles, to the remote land of Japan to preach the Word of Thy beloved Son! Behold, Our Lady, he executed Thy will. Stretch Thy blessing hand towards Thy servants, children of those whom he converted, and towards us, abiding in our sins, that through his prayers we may preserve the Orthodox faith unto the ages of ages. Amen.


You may download the text of this Akathist Hymn here.

The Orthodox Church of St Nicholas of Japan in Brixton, Johannesburg, started nearly 30 years ago, but one thing we lacked was an Akathist hymn to our patron saint. A former member of the parish, О. Андрей Кашинский (Andrei Kashinski), now serving as a priest in Russia, tracked down a copy for us, and Olga Balytnikova-Rakitianskaia, a former student at the University of Pretoria now living in Russia, very kindly translated it for us. The ikon of St Nicholas is by Julia Bridget Hayes, another former member of St Nicholas parish. So here it is, and example of how electronic communications and international cooperation make such things easy!

 

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