Category Archives: Holiness

Akathist to the Holy Blessed Andrew of Constantinople, Fool for Christ (870-936)

After many decades of thought and prayer, we have been able to compose an akathist to St Andrew, Fool for Christ. Like the other services we have composed to canonized saints over the last 20 years (see below and on http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/zliturgics.htm), the final inspiration has come to us very quickly.

Since St Andrew was a Slav living in Constantinople, we hope that his prayers may yet help in overcoming the present terrible schism, as it has led to the little Church of Constantinople falling away from communion with the vast majority of Orthodox worldwide.

Other Services:

  1. Service to All the Saints of the Isles (2006)
  2. Service to All the Saints of the Western Lands (2015)
  3. Service to St Alfred, King of England (2014)
  4. Service to St Audrey of Ely (1998-1999)
  5. Service to Edmund, King of East Anglia (1998-1999)
  6. Service to St Felix, Apostle of East Anglia (1998-1999)
  7. Akathist to the Felixstowe Icon of the Mother of God (1998-1999)

 

Archpriest Andrew Phillips, England

9 March 2019

 

 

Akathist to the Holy Blessed Andrew of Constantinople, Fool for Christ, 2/15 October

 

Kontakion 1

Chosen saint of God and fool for Christ, O holy blessed Andrew, from thy childhood thou didst love the Holy Scriptures and Holy Church, renouncing all worldly things. Therefore thou wast found worthy to behold the protection of the Mother of God who appeared with the saints in the church of Blachernae. Now honouring thy holy memory, we offer thee this song of praise and as thou hast great boldness before the Lord of mercy, deliver us from all misfortune, temptation and despair that we may call out to thee thus:

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Ikos 1

O all-wise Andrew, thou wast found worthy of a life equal to the angels. Once a slave of Theognostes who knew God, thou too didst know God. Once a slave, fair in appearance and outstanding in character, thou didst become a servant of God who found true freedom in renouncing the vanities and illusions of this world. Therefore hear this praise which we offer thee now, saying:

Rejoice, O vessel chosen for the wisdom of God, which is foolishness for men!

Rejoice, O trusted slave who didst become the friend and brother of the angels!

Rejoice, O favoured slave who became the favoured servant of God!

Rejoice, thou who after an angelic vision didst take up the feat of foolishness for Christ!

Rejoice, thou whose heart flowered to Christ’s teaching, accepting unfading crowns from Paradise!

Rejoice, thou who didst reckon the things of this world as nothing!

Rejoice, thou who didst show the strength of God in a weak human body!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 2

Beholding thy most strange life in which thou didst despise every care for the mortal flesh, naked in the freezing cold thou wast warmed by the sweet flowers of Paradise on account of thy burning love for Christ. Seeing thy humility and the presence of the world to come in thee, the faithful servant of Christ Barbara of the City of Constantine sang to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 2

O blessed Andrew, thou didst conceal the reasoning mind given by God by feigning folly. Thy spirit was quickened in the purity of thy soul and thy heart offered the Lord unceasing prayer for sinners in the silence of thy lips. As for us, astonished and consoled by thy vision of the Mother of God, we call out to thee in praise:

Rejoice, thou who didst extinguish the burning fire of pride from thy youth up!

Rejoice, thou who didst take up the heavy cross of foolishness for Christ’s sake!

Rejoice, thou who didst hide the brightness of grace by assuming folly!

Rejoice, thou who didst appear to be a fool to all!

Rejoice, thou who didst acquire the gift of seeing through the world by thy feat of prayer!

Rejoice, thou who wast caught up to heaven to see the Master Christ and all the beauty of Paradise!

Rejoice, O most wise Andrew, and make us wise through thy foolishness for Christ!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 3

What is not possible for men is possible for God, for the strength of God is made perfect in weakness; the blessed one shows that we weak sinners may trample down the ancient enemy of mankind by self-renunciation for the sake of Christ. O blessed Andrew, by thy prayers strengthen us sinners, that we may be found worthy to sing this heavenly song: Alleluia!

Ikos 3

O most wise Andrew, thou wast a seer of the Providence of Divine judgements. Undaunted by the illusion of the demons, who though strong in appearance are weak in power, thou wast bound with chains and consoled by the holy Anastasia and John the apostle of Christ. Therefore the faithful now flee to thee for help, singing thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst take up the easy yoke and light burden of Christ!

Rejoice, thou who didst accept the mockings of men as praise!

Rejoice, thou who like Lazarus didst lay in filth, despised even by dogs!

Rejoice, thou whose intercession heals the impure and those who love gold!

Rejoice, thou whose ragged shirt was fairer than garments woven with gold!

Rejoice, thou who didst see things to come in the present!

Rejoice, thou who didst hear unutterable words and see invisible beings!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 4

We see thee, O blessed Andrew, as a star shining forth from among the Slav peoples, brightly gleaming in the firmament of the Church. Thou wast revealed in the City of Constantine to those deluded by every lust, showing us all the heights of humble wisdom and teaching us to sing to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 4

O most wise Andrew, who didst foresee in thy soul the sweetness that is to come, as thou didst tell thy disciple Nicephorus, show thine intercession for the faithful of the City of Constantine and the Orthodox everywhere. As for us, astounded by the acts of Divine Providence for us unworthy and hard-hearted, we call to thee with tender prayer thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast clothed in a robe woven with lightning!

Rejoice, thou who becamest like unto the angels in humility!

Rejoice, thou who wast wondrously raised up on high by thy lowliness!

Rejoice, O Slav who became the boast of faithful Greeks!

Rejoice, O glory of all the peoples of the Church of God!

Rejoice, O intercessor for all who seek true wisdom!

Rejoice, O most pure vessel of the Holy Spirit, who didst love the poor!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 5

O most wise Andrew, thou becamest like unto a star following after Christ, by thy life thou didst adorn the City of Constantine, shining forth by thy feat of renunciation. Now teach us who drown in the sea of worldly passions and guide us to the calm haven of salvation by thy prayers. And, glorifying the Lord Who glorified thee, we cry: Alleluia!

Ikos 5

O blessed Andrew, the Lord made thee worthy to serve Him by showing thee the bitterness of the world and the sweetness of paradise. Having beheld Christ on His throne of glory, thou didst voluntarily suffer all privations for His sake. Now as thou dost taste of the bread of heaven in everlasting life, pray for us who are sick in body and soul and cry out to thee with tender feeling:

Rejoice, thou who wast inspired by a heavenly vision to become a fool for Christ’s sake on earth!

Rejoice, thou who wast near naked and starved to show us the wisdom of God!

Rejoice, thou who didst suffer torments and slander from all!

Rejoice, thou who didst shame the demons!

Rejoice, thou who didst see the angels!

Rejoice, thou who didst see through the thoughts of men!

Rejoice, thou who helpest those who have lost hope!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 6

Thou wast a preacher of the Cross, to those who perish a stumbling-block and foolishness, but the power and wisdom of God to thee who art saved. Seeing the height of thy lowliness, O blessed Andrew, the Lord granted thee the gift of seeing the unseen. With this gift of wisdom thou didst turn many from sin to repentance. As for us, seeing such things as these, we sing to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 6

O blessed Andrew, thou didst become poor in spirit and so receive the kingdom of God, thou didst become pure in heart and thus see God. Knowing this, we fall humbly to our knees before thine image and ask that thou mayest beseech from the Saviour of our souls a Christian ending to the lives of all who cry to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who wast trampled down by men and dogs alike!

Rejoice, thou who didst drive away every earthly attachment by thy voluntary martyrdom!

Rejoice, thou who didst reveal the vanity of the world in the rich man who died, mocked by the demons!

Rejoice, thou who didst wholly give thyself up to God!

Rejoice, thou who didst shine like a flaming pillar!

Rejoice, thou who didst perceive the future in the present!

Rejoice, thou who like the apostle wast caught up to the third heaven!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 7

O all-wise Andrew, forsaking the vanity of the things of the world, thou didst forsake even the reason of men. By feigning folly thou dost show us the truth of things beyond reason and so dost shine with the unearthly light and joy of the world to come, hearing unutterable words and seeing the beauties of Paradise. Honouring thee, we ask that we too may know of that light and joy, singing to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 7

In thy feat of humble renunciation the Lord has given a sign of His mercy to us who drown in the delusions of possessions and lusts. For we have gained thee as an intercessor before the merciful God and call out to thee with thankful hearts and voices:

Rejoice, thou who hast ever raised up thine eyes with hope on the Lord!

Rejoice, thou who didst keep thy soul free from passions and so didst become bright with grace!

Rejoice, thou who hast acquired the heights of lowliness!

Rejoice, thou who wast crowned by the Lord with blessedness!

Rejoice, thou who becamest a new intercessor for faithful Orthodox!

Rejoice, thou who didst witness to Christ wandering from church to church in prayer!

Rejoice, thou who didst grow rich in wisdom by foolishness!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 8

On account of the sins and iniquities of unfaithful men who betrayed the purity of the Orthodox Faith, God allowed the City of Constantine to fall to the Hagarenes; however, by Divine Providence the Church was established in thy native Slav Lands, O blessed Andrew. Protect the Orthodox Faith there and everywhere from temptations and schisms that we may find salvation in these latter times, protecting us from the cunning wiles of the evil one. And we the faithful, wondering at thy holy life, ever sing with joy to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 8

Having acquired the inexhaustible riches of purity and wisdom through poverty, thou didst diligently serve the Lord as a fool for Christ. Therefore, like a star illuminating the way, thou dost enlighten all who seek the path of Christ. For this feat we call out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who didst despise earthly fame and win heavenly glory!

Rejoice, thou who dost denounce pride of mind with thy humility!

Rejoice, thou who dost keep us from open misfortunes with thy secret prayer!

Rejoice, O model of obedience to Christ!

Rejoice, O beauty of humility and abstinence!

Rejoice, O man who was like unto an angel!

Rejoice, O living temple of Divine wisdom!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 9

O blessed Andrew, thou didst endure all manner of sorrow and privation, beating, spitting, reviling and mocking, walking the narrow way with joy, knowing of the mysteries of Paradise by thy visions. Having lived according to the commandments of Christ, the King of Glory glorified thee and set thee in His everlasting kingdom with the blessed. Together with them thou dost sing the angelic song: Alleluia!

Ikos 9

Neither the tongues of orators nor the minds of philosophers can grasp the meaning of thy life in which thou didst follow Christ, O all-wise Andrew. Who can tell of the heights of thy lowly feat of foolishness for Christ and who can recount thy renunciation in living as a heavenly man and an earthy angel? As for us, conquered by thy humility and wisdom, we call out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who didst not spare thy flesh!

Rejoice, thou who didst intercede for those who beat thee!

Rejoice, thou who didst pray for those dragged down by their sins!

Rejoice, thou who didst warn of the sickness of greed!

Rejoice, O bright daybreak of humility, lighting the souls of sinners!

Rejoice, O warmth of the love of God warming our cold hearts!

Rejoice, O star enlightening the folly of the proud with the wisdom of the humble!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 10

The Lord preserves those who follow Him and therefore we sing to thee, blessed Andrew, as a wellspring of grace washing away the impurities of this world. For Christ granted grace to thee and grants grace to all who have recourse to thee with prayer and sing to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 10

Thou didst reveal the mystery of the Veil of our Sovereign Lady, shining forth like lightning and protecting the City of Constantine, to thy youthful disciple Epiphanius. And he too, seeing the Mother of God, spoke, saying: ‘I see, holy father, and I tremble’. Then thou didst foretell to him that he would receive the episcopal dignity. We beseech thee, blessed Andrew, who seest our thoughts and things to come, humble the pride of our minds and teach us to sing to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst count as nothing the fleeting pleasures of this world!

Rejoice, thou who hadst nowhere to lay thy head!

Rejoice, thou who didst destroy all pride in thyself!

Rejoice, thou who didst serve Christ God all thy life!

Rejoice, thou who didst inherit everlasting blessedness!

Rejoice, O firm support of those who have set out on the path of repentance!

Rejoice, O wondrous consolation of all faithful Orthodox!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 11

Accept our prayerful song, O blessed Andrew, for behold, we run to thee with faith and love. Bowing our stubborn hearts before thy humble wisdom and glorifying the Lord Who glorified thee, we pray to thee: Still the stormy sea of our life, calm our passions, that we may call out to our God Who is wondrous in His saints: Alleluia!

Ikos 11

O all-wise Andrew, thou didst see the gates of heaven opened and the souls of the righteous flying forth like unto swallows. Obeying the Gospel, thou didst lose thy life and so save it. Lit by the light of this feat, we firmly believe and hope in thine intercession for us unworthy sinners and cry out to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who wast enlightened by the gift of prophecy!

Rejoice, thou who didst not forsake us on leaving the earth!

Rejoice, thou who dost beseech Divine mercy for us!

Rejoice, O vessel emptied of passions and so filled with the Holy Spirit!

Rejoice, O receptacle of purity and humility!

Rejoice, O container of the wisdom of Christ!

Rejoice, O seer of God who dost pray for all who have recourse to thee!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 12

O blessed Andrew, thou didst accept grace from the Lord to see every secret sin and hidden sickness of the soul with thy spiritual eyes. Therefore grant us who are also blinded by sin to see our darkness and unworthiness, that healed by repentance, with pure heart and lips we may sing to God the angelic song: Alleluia!

Ikos 12

Let us sing of thy feats, O Andrew wise in God, let us honour thy sacrifice of foolishness for Christ, let us glorify thy manly courage in a weak body and, praising the feat of thine earthly life, let us bless thy holy repose, crying such things as these:

Rejoice, thou who didst find everlasting riches through poverty!

Rejoice, thou who didst find the world on high through lowliness!

Rejoice, thou who didst find the love of Christ through the hatred of men!

Rejoice, thou who dist find everlasting glory with Christ through the temporary mockings of the demonic!

Rejoice, thou who didst humble those whose minds were darkened by the delusions of pride!

Rejoice, thou who didst melt the ice of unrepentant hearts with the warmth of thy love!

Rejoice, thou who didst acquire the wisdom of Paradise through foolishness for Christ!

Rejoice, O blessed Andrew, who seest the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God over all the faithful!

Kontakion 13

O most glorious saint of Christ, seer of the mysteries of the human soul, O holy blessed Andrew, our intercessor before the God of mercy! Accept from us unworthy sinners this offering of prayer made out of love for thee and by thy prayers calm our passions, humble our proud minds, straighten out the crooked paths of our sins, grant us the gift of true repentance and cleanse us from every impurity, that together with thee we may cry out to our Lord and Saviour the angelic song: Alleluia!

This Kontakion is read three times and then we sing Ikos 1 and Kontakion 1.

Prayers to the holy blessed Andrew, fool for Christ

First Prayer

O saint of Christ, faithful servant and favourite of the Lord God, the Creator of all, most blessed Andrew! Hear us who are mired in sin and call on thy holy name. Pray for us who now fall before thy most pure image, accept this our unworthy prayer, ask for Divine mercy for us sinners and by thy prayers heal every sickness of our fallen souls and bodies. Make us worthy to run the course of our lives unharmed by enemies visible and invisible and come to a Christian ending to our lives, painless, blameless and peaceful, obtaining the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven with all the saints unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Second Prayer

O saint of God, blessed Andrew, on earth thou didst live in renunciation and so in heaven didst receive the unfading crown of righteousness, which the Lord has prepared for all who love Him. Seeing thy holy image, we rejoice in the most glorious ending of thy life and honour thy holy memory. As thou standest before the Throne of God, accept our prayers and offer them up to the All-Merciful One, that we may be forgiven every transgression. Help us to resist devilish intrigues, that we may be delivered from sorrow, sickness, misfortune, temptation and every evil, that we may live in piety and righteousness in this present age and be counted worthy to glorify the One God, Who is glorified in the saints, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Troparion, Tone 1

Hearkening to the voice of Thine Apostle Paul saying: We are fools for Christ’s sake, Thy servant Andrew became a fool for Thy sake on earth, O Christ God. Therefore, now honouring his memory, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to save our souls.

Kontakion, Tone 4

Voluntarily feigning foolishness, thou didst hate the beauties of this world and make the thoughts of the flesh to wither away through fasting and thirst, the heat of the day and freezing cold, rain and snow, and unbowed by other inclemencies of the air, thou didst purify thyself like gold in a furnace, O blessed Andrew.

 

2017: On the Spiritual Significance of the Church Outside Russia

On the eve of 2017, the centenary year of the catastrophic Russian Revolution and a decade since the triumphant reunion between the Patriarchal Church inside Russia and the emigre Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in 2007, we may wonder what will become of the heritage of the Russian emigration of 1917? After all, the generation of adults that emigrated into exile in and soon after 1917 has long since died out and we are now onto the generation of their great-great-grandchildren. In Church terms, this emigration, almost wholly rejecting the compromised authority of the then enslaved Church inside Russia, consists not just of ROCOR, but also of the small Paris splinter group. What will survive spiritually from the two parts of the Russian emigration?

The tiny Paris Archdiocese part of the emigration, perhaps 10% of the whole, survives. However, as a splinter group of dissident and disincarnate philosophers, intellectuals and aristocrats that went into schism from the Russian Church for political reasons 85 years ago, it has long been without Russian bishops because of its inherent anti-monasticism. It is tending to become a sub-group of untrained convert clergy wishing to become a tiny ‘French Orthodox Church’, though some in it imagine becoming a ‘Western European Orthodox Church’. But that is megalomania. The group often reflects Schmemannite modernism, ecumenism and liberal French Catholicism (i.e. Protestantism), having steadily abandoned the Russian Orthodox Tradition.

True, there are still a few faithful, Orthodox calendar parishes run by priests mainly imported from Russia and the Ukraine and some selected Russian customs remain, though with little understanding of their meaning. The tendency is to try and proselytize middle-class liberal intellectuals, sometimes with contempt for ordinary people, an ethos that also used to infect parts of the OCA in North America and renovationist groups in the Soviet-period Patriarchate of Moscow. The Archdiocese generally tends to cut corners, failing to observe the canons and attract cradle Orthodox, whom as a non-inclusive group it rejects. Certainly it attracts none who is anchored in the Tradition.

However, the overwhelming majority of the emigration, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), exists outside France and French philosophical intellectualism, mainly in North America, Australasia and Western Europe. As such it has from the start been responsible for much missionary and translation work in many languages. Without the protection of any State it has in its near-100 year history also been subject to many slanders, mockery and persecution for its faithfulness to the Tradition. It has often been the voice crying in the wilderness of Secularist materialism, whether Communist or Capitalist, witnessing and prophetically calling like the Forerunner and Baptist John to repentance before the apocalyptic events of the last century.

However, it is also true that in the past parts of ROCOR were also compromised and infected by Russian nationalism, excessive strictness to the point of negative phariseeism and depressing right-wing politics – some fringe elements were even so blind as to support Hitler. However, the best of ROCOR has been revealed as a Church of Confessors and Missionaries, as in its three saints: St Jonah of Hankou, St Seraphim of Sofia and St John of Shanghai. Moreover, further saints are yet to be revealed. Whatever the future shape of the present administrative structures of ROCOR, these saints have given ROCOR eternal significance, as only the saints can do, as everything else gathers the dust of history, being only passing fashion and political intrigue.

Ten years ago, in 2007, seeing the Church inside Russia at last free, ROCOR rejoined Her and in the last ten years the two parts of the Church have worked closely together. Some therefore ask why does ROCOR still exist? The answer is simple: we have a mission to witness to the Orthodox Truth specifically outside Russia. When in the past the Church inside Holy Rus was enslaved and fell silent, with the representatives of the Soviet-period Patriarchate abroad mostly abandoning ideals, sometimes disgracefully compromising themselves in renovationism, ecumenism and other ills, ROCOR spoke out. So also today ROCOR continues to proclaim outside Russia what the best of the rest of the Church proclaims inside Russia – the ideals of Holy Rus. What are these?

These ideals are Trinitarian, reflecting on earth the heavenly reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These Christian ideals can be expressed as: Faith, Throne and People, that is, the Orthodox Faith, the Christian Emperor, the Faithful. All three go together. If any one element is compromised, then all three are compromised. Thus, if we reject the Orthodox Faith, we do not build the Christian Empire among the People, as has happened in the Western world. If we reject the Incarnation of the Christian Empire, we fail to reflect the Faith in the Father and fail to preach the values of the Holy Spirit among the People, as has happened in disincarnate Parisian philosophy. And if the People lose the Orthodox Faith, there will be no Empire, as happened in 1917.

Just as we cannot have the Father without the Son and the Holy Spirit, so we confess all three of these ideals of Holy Rus together. This means that we are called on to proclaim the uncorrupted Orthodox Faith of the Church (the Father), the restoration of the Incarnate Christian Empire and Emperor (the Son) and that we call all the peoples of the world to join us (the Holy Spirit), as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied nearly 200 years ago. These are the Trinitarian Orthodox Civilizational values of the Returning Christian Empire which is coming soon. Thus, we clergy and people of ROCOR are the free and conscious servants of the Faith and People of the Tsar-Martyr, called on to reverse the treason of 1917 and its disastrous worldwide consequences.