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Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America
Kathisma 1 — “Blessed is the Man…”
“Lord I call…”
Zealous for the Law of God, / King Josiah taught Israel to serve only the Lord. / Our divinely-wise Father Alexis / guided his people to the Orthodox Faith, / teaching them to cry aloud, // “O Lord, have mercy on us.”
Our holy Father Alexis, / guided by the Spirit of Truth, / exposed the error of ignorance / and lead his people to the True Faith. / In humility concealing his virtues from others, // he thereby received a heavenly crown.
Today the Church celebrates a feast of great joy, / For the Holy Priest Alexis / guides his sheep back to the knowledge of the Truth, / watering them with the ever-flowing fountain of his teachings, / and instructing them to sing, // “Glory to God for His great mercy.”
The Righteous Priest Alexis / appears as a radiant star. / He shines with the light of holiness / as he nourishes his flock with the Word of God. / And having embraced the Orthodox Faith, / that flock in thanksgiving still cries aloud with joy, // “Glory to God for His great mercy.”
The worthy Priest Alexis, / that teacher of true doctrine and piety, / instructed his people with fatherly counsels. / He led them to the Ark of Salvation / and casting off the yoke of a false union, they cry aloud, // “Glory to God for His great mercy.”
(from the Pentecostarion)
Prokeimenon of the Day
Readings from the Old Testament (3)
The Reading from Proverbs (Composite — Ch. 10, 3, 8)
Hear me, O child, for I will speak noble things. Blessed is the man who keeps my ways, for my ways are the ways of life, and in them is prepared favor from the Lord. Therefore, I pray you, and utter my voice to the sons of men: For I, wisdom, have dwelt with counsel and knowledge and I have called upon understanding. Counsel and safety are mine, understanding and strength are mine. I love those who love me and those seeking me shall find grace.
Understand craftiness, O you who are simple, and imbibe knowledge, you who are un taught. Hear me again, for I will speak noble things: I will open my mouth and from my lips shall come what is right. For my throat shall meditate truth; false lips are an abomination before me. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them that is twisted or perverse. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.
I shall instruct you in truth, so that your hope will be in the Lord and you shall be filled with the Spirit.
The reading from Wisdom of Solomon (Composite — Prov. Ch. 10; Wis. Ch. 6, 7, 8, 9)
The wisdom of the Lord illumines the faces of the wise. For she takes hold of those desiring her by making herself first known to them. She is easily seen by those who love her. He who rises early to seek her shall have no difficulty, and those keeping vigil for the sake of her shall quickly be without sorrows. For she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and graciously reveals herself in the pathways. Against wisdom evil does not prevail.
Therefore I was a lover of her beauty; I loved her and sought her out from my youth. I de sired to make her my bride, and even the Master of All loved her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and a discoverer of His works. Her labors are virtues, for she teaches temperance and prudence, justi ce and courage; nothing in life is more necessary for men than these. And if anyone desires much knowledge, she knows the things of old, and beholds things to come; she understands turns of speech and the solution of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and the outcome of times and seasons. She is a mediator of good things for all, for immortality is in her, and glory in the company of her words.
Therefore I appealed to the Lord and prayed to Him, and said to Him with all my heart, “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, Who hast made all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom hast fashioned man that he should have dominion over the creatures made by Thee, that he should rule the world in holiness and righteousness: Give me wisdom that sits by Thy throne, and cast me not away from among Thy children, for I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid. Send her forth from the heavens, from Thy holy abode, and from the throne of Thy glory, that she may be with me, and instruct me in what is pleasing to Thee. And she shall guide me in understanding, and preserve me in her glory. For the thoughts of mortals are miserable, and their intentions likely to fail.”
The Reading from Wisdom of Solomon (Composite — Ch. 4, 6, 7, 2)
I will tell you and not hide the mysteries of God from you. For He is the Guide of wisdom, the Corrector of the wise and the Artisan of all thoughts and deeds. Wisdom will teach with all understanding: For in her is a Spirit, intelligent and holy, the Radiance of the Everlasting Light and the Image of the Grace of God.
She fashions friends of God and prophets. For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be first. She delivered from infirmities those pleasing her and guided them on the paths of righteousness.
She gave to them understanding to be holy and to preserve them from those who would ensnare them, and she granted them strength in struggles, so that all might understand that the most powerful of all is piety, and that evil might not prevail against wisdom, nor judgement pass away without convicting the wicked.
Having reasoned unrighteously, they said to themselves, “Let us oppress the righteous man and not spare his venerableness, nor let us be ashamed of the gray hairs of the old man of many years. But let our might be our law and let us seize the righteous, because he is inconvenient to us and is opposed to our deeds; he reproaches us for apostasy against the law and divulges the sins of our training.
“He declares to us to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of the LORD. He be came to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his life is unlike that of others, and his ways are very different. We are considered by him to be an insult, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the end of the righteous blessed.
“Let us see if his words are true; let us test him to see what will happen to him. Let us torment him with revilement and tortures, that we may understand his meekness and test his guilelessness. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to his own words, he shall be respected.”
Thus they reasoned, but were deceived, for their wickedness blinded them. They did not know the mysteries of God, nor did they discern that Thou alone art God, having the power of life and death: Who savest in times of affliction and delivereth from every evil; Who art compassionate and merciful, granting Grace to His venerable ones, and opposing the proud with His arm.
Today Wilkes-Barre rejoices with Minneapolis / celebrating the most radiant festival of Saint Alexis. / Exalt him, O bishops! Praise him, O priests! / Be illumined by his teachings, O people! / He now stands before the throne of God // entreating Him to save our souls.
A new star has appeared in the heavens, / illumining the spiritual darkness of our times, / Guiding us on the paths of righteousness, / away from the abyss of error. / Therefore let us offer hymns of praise to Saint Alexis // and venerate his holy icon (or grace filled relics).
(from the Pentecostarion)
Verse: Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. (Ps. 132:9)
Rejoice, O people of America, / let us make a joyful noise to God. / Sing a new song to the Lord, O Minneapolis, / exalt him, O Wilkes-Barre, / from you the sound of our Father Alexis went forth, / his words have put the hard of heart to shame, // showing all where to seek the Truth.
Verse: My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. (Ps. 49:3)
With what wreaths of victory / shall we crown our most wise teacher Alexis? / What words can suffice to tell of his love for Christ’s Church? / As a shepherd he protected his flock // from all foes, visible and invisible.
(from the Pentecostarion)
Blessing of the loaves
Troparion — Tone 4
“God is the Lord…” — Tone 4
Verse: Hear this, all peoples; give ear all inhabitants of the world. (Ps. 49)
Verse: What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
Ode 1 — Tone 6
Refrain: O holy Father Alexis, pray to God for us.
Come, all who love the saints, let us rejoice and keep festival with the angels. Let us sing praises to Saint Alexis: the unshakable pillar of the Faith, the divinely-wise teacher of the Church, the all-virtuous shepherd of the flock of Christ, the boast of priests and the joy of all America.
O radiant beacon of piety shining forth in America, you enlightened us with your teachings and encouraged us by your example. Through your prayers, O holy Father, deliver us from the darkness of sin and the gloom of ignorance.
Leaving your native land, you passed over the sea to the New World. There, by the grace of God, you were led to the Orthodox Faith and proclaimed its saving teachings to all. We celebrate your memory and cry aloud: “This is the Faith of the Fathers which has established the universe.”
You exulted in the Lord, O Father, and He in turn blessed you and multiplied your talents. He sent you forth among the people to nourish them with spiritual food, and they received it and were filled. We celebrate your feast with joy and sing praises to God who glorified you.
Christ gave you strength to defend His Church and wisdom to refute false teachings that his flock might not be led astray. Entreat Him to preserve us steadfast in our confession of the Orthodox Faith and grant our souls great mercy.
You met with Bishop Vladimir and told him of your heartfelt desire to enter the Orthodox Church with your flock. Therefore he traveled to Minneapolis and gathered in a harvest of souls, the first-fruits of your apostolic labors.
Placing all your trust in God, you went forth among the people, tending your flock in a God pleasing manner. In your humility you concealed your virtues from others, but Christ has openly rewarded your labors, O righteous Father.
In your love for God and neighbor, you fulfilled the chief part of the Law and the Prophets. You were endowed with power from on high and traveled this land sowing the seeds of piety. Therefore, the Lord of the harvest has called you His good and faithful servant.
Many have attained salvation without uttering prophecies or working miracles, but none may enter the heavenly Bridal Chamber without humility. O holy Father Alexis, pray that we too many acquire humility, the foundation of all virtues.
When you cried out to your flock: “Come, O children, and hear me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” they knew your voice and followed you, for you were a true shepherd, leading them to the pasture of Christ.
When the wolves attacked your flock, O Father, you were quick to act as their guardian. You defended them with the shield of your ministry and repelled all foes in the name of the Lord.
Fear and trembling fell upon your enemies, O victorious champion of Christ, when they heard you proclaim the Orthodox Faith and expose their false teachings. O defender of Orthodoxy in America, entreat the Lover of mankind to protect His Church from every assault.
Tossed about by the storms of life, you hastened to the calm haven of Christ’s Church. You accomplished great things, O Father, but refrained from vainglorious boasting. “Whatever I have achieved,” you said, “has been done with the help of God.”
You inspired your flock with your love for Christ and His Church, O God-pleasing Alexis, but your enemies were alarmed by your zeal and courage. With your words and writings you exposed the errors of the impious who follow after vanity and lies and you confirmed the faithful in truth and godliness.
When the Prophet Jonah was sent to Ninevah, his preaching led many to repentance. Your teaching, O righteous Father, brought thousands back to the Orthodox Church. They embraced their ancestral Faith with joy and glorified God for His great mercy.
Uninstructed souls were led astray, but you brought them back to the True Faith. You were a leader of your brethren and the pride of your people, for through your labors they learned to sing: “Blessed are You, O God of our Fathers.”
You became a teacher of many, revealing through your books and sermons the spiritual treasures of the Orthodox Faith. Now you ceaselessly intercede for those who with faith honor you and cry to the Lord: “Blessed are You, O God of our Fathers.”
The supporters of a false union led your people astray with their erroneous doctrines, O holy one of God, but you freed them from an oppressive yoke, leading them to the True Faith and teaching them to cry aloud: “Blessed are You, O God of our Fathers.”
You consecrated yourself to God and instructed His people. As Josiah abolished the delusion of idolatry and proclaimed the newly-discovered Law, so you ended erroneous belief and instructed your flock in true faith and piety.
O holy Alexis, zealot of piety, adorning churches with holy icons, through spiritual counsel and fatherly admonition, you taught your flock to glorify God in the Orthodox manner.
Though accused of converting for material gain, you lived in poverty, “having nothing yet possessing all things.” You relieved the suffering of others but yourself endured hunger, thirst, and fatigue. You were faithful to the Lord, so He has given you a crown of life.
No one can draw near to God except one who separates himself from the world. You rejected the fleeting joys of this world and endured earthly sorrows with heavenly joy. You regarded insults as praise; disrespect as honor. Therefore Christ has given you that joy which cannot be taken away.
O thrice-blessed Father Alexis, you showed yourself a vigilant shepherd of Christ’s flock, not a hireling who flees from danger. You drove away the wolves from the Church and refuted every soul-destroying heresy. Intercede for those who celebrate your Feast with joy and beseech the Lord to save our souls.
Though unable to praise you fittingly, we celebrate your joyous festival with love. You are an unshakable pillar of the Church and the support of the faithful. Intercede with our merciful God for the salvation of our souls.
We venerate your holy icon (holy relics), O Saint, / and glorify God who glorified you. / You taught us how we should live in America, / and showed us where to seek the Truth. / May we always confess the Orthodox Faith with your courage and zeal // and stand firm in the tradition of the Fathers.
O trumpet of the Spirit / producing harmonious hymns of heavenly theology, / you exposed the error of false doctrines / and spoke the truth in love. / You taught us to worship God in spirit and truth. // Therefore we honor your holy memory.
You did not look back on your accomplishments, O Saint, / but willingly accepted new challenges. / Your missionary labors bore fruit in abundance / and added countless souls to the Church. / Your zeal increased as you drew nearer to the prize: // a crown of glory from the Savior Christ.
(from the Pentecostarion)
Usual ending for Festal Matins.
Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Prokeimenon — Tone 7
Verse: Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation.
Alleluia — Tone 6
Verse: His descendants will be mighty on earth.