Father Nektarios Serfes - Royal Martyrs Of Russia
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Holy Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth
Holy Royal Martyr
Grand Duchess Elizabeth
In Commemoration
This Akathist Is Presented In Loving Commemoration Of The 82nd (July 18, 1918 - July 18, 2000) Anniversary Of The Holy Martyrdom Of The Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth, St. Barbara the New Martyr of Russia And Those With Them.

Akathist Hymn To The
Holy Martyred Nun Elizabeth
& The Other New Martyrs
Of Alapayevsk

Whose Memory The Holy Church
Celebrates On the 5 Of July
(New calendar July 5th and old calendar July 18th)

Translated by Isaac Lambertsen
Compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
USA
3 Jun 2000


KONTAKION I

Come, all ye who love Christ, and let us offer up a hymn of praise unto the martyred nun Elizabeth, who was chosen by the Lord of hosts to serve as an example of Christian piety and love for those who desire to follow in His steps. For, spurning the vanity of worldly possessions, rank and cares, she dedicated her whole life to the aid of those in need. Wherefore, it hath pleased Christ our God to crown her ascetic labors with the diadem of martyrdom; and, dwelling now in His heavenly kingdom, she maketh supplication unto God, that He deliver from misfortunes and perils all who chant unto her with joy:

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth,
true model of Christian sacrifice!

IKOS I

The Creator of the angels and Lord of mankind led thee from the delusion of heresy to the divine knowledge of the Truth, O blessed Elizabeth, that thy loving heart and soul might renew Christian love, which had grown cold in the land of Russia: for through thine efforts the hearts of men again warmed to the word of God, and the Master of all vouchsafed thee to live a life exalted above thy peers, in love, humility and fervent prayer. Wherefore, we ever chant unto thee, as is meet:

Rejoice, lamb burning with the love of God;
   rejoice, handmaid of Christ the Lord!
Rejoice, scroll whereon the Holy Spirit inscribed the Christian virtues;
   rejoice, divinely wise princess and new martyr!
Rejoice, daughter who forsook they father’s house and turned to Holy Orthodoxy;
Rejoice, vessel wherein the wine of gladness
   and the oil of healing are mingled together;
   rejoice, upholder of the traditions of piety!
Rejoice, treasure-house of compassion;
   rejoice, radiant star resplendent with heavenly glory!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION II

Christ found thee a lily among thorns and chose thee to adorn His garden of Holy Orthodoxy, O venerable one: for he Who alone knoweth the hearts of men perceived from on high thy great love for thy neighbor, and bestowed upon thee a wealth of spiritual gifts, that we might come to understand the mystery of God’s great mercy, enabling us to take part with thee therein and to join chorus with thee in chanting unto Him: Alleluia!

IKOS II

Knowing in thy heart that God’s will ruleth over all creation, and seeking to obey His will alone, thou was well pleased to shoulder the great cross which He prepared for thee, O holy one: for when thou didst witness the cruel and pitiless slaughter of thy husband, thy heart was pierced with grief and sorrow, as with a two-edged sword; yet thou didst take courage, and uttered the Savior’s own words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And seeking to turn this vile deed to goodness, thou didst beseech him who committed the murder to repent. And we too beg thine intercession before the Lord, that He avert His righteous anger from us who chant to thee such praises as these:

Rejoice, thou who didst deem mercy greater than sacrifice;
   rejoice, thou who prayest for sinners and penitents!
Rejoice, thou who didst bear thy cross to a new Golgotha;
   rejoice, thou who didst not reject the crown of thorns offered thee!
Rejoice, thou didst put jealously to flight;
   rejoice, thou who reprovest thou who fall away from truth and grace!
Rejoice, thou who didst not set the love of family above the love of God;
   rejoice, thou who didst fulfill the words of Christ!
Rejoice, thou who didst seek out the good in every man;
   rejoice, thou who was sent unto Russia, to turn her away from evil to the good!
Rejoice, thou who dost ever cry out to Christ:
Lord, have mercy;
   rejoice, thou who standest invisible in our midst as we pray!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION III

The power of the Most High overshadowed thy sorrow and pain, O royal passion-bearer, and finding sweet consolation therein thou didst die to this world, that thou mightest live in Christ: thou didst shun the fleeting pleasures and vanities of this life, didst clothe thyself in garments of joy and salvation, and didst abide in palaces, praying and chanting to God therein: Alleluia!

IKOS III

With a fervent desire to serve thy fellow man, thou didst gather a multitude of souls to labor for God; and, raising up a house of mercy, which thou didst dedicate to the Protection of the all-holy Theotokos, O holy Elizabeth, thou didst choose our holy mothers Martha and Mary as the heavenly patrons, emulating them as paragons of piety and good works. And mindful of the magnitude of thy charitable deeds and Christian virtues, we praise thy memory, chanting thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst open thy heart to good deeds;
   rejoice, thou who didst gather the virtues into a spiritual sheaf!
Rejoice, thou who hast been reckoned among the friends of Christ;
   rejoice, thou who didst hearken to His words!
Rejoice, thou who dost ever rejoice in thy Lord;
   rejoice, thou who fillest our hearts with joy when we call upon thy name!
Rejoice, thou who rewardest those who seek thy heavenly aid;
   rejoice, thou who dost speedily fulfill the requests of those who have recourse to thee with faith!
Rejoice, thou who has adorned the city of Moscow;
   rejoice, obedient handmaid of the holy Mary and Martha!
Rejoice, thou who didst hide thy good works from the eyes of the haughty;
   rejoice, thou who dost call all of us to perform deeds of mercy!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION IV

Those who were tempest-tossed amid the tumults of life and foundered upon the floods of the passions didst thou guide to the calm haven of salvation which thou didst establish in the royal city of Moscow, O holy Elizabeth; for having opened thy heart unto God, thou didst open its doors to the children of God, showing them the mercy of their heavenly Father. Wherefore, thou hast now been shown to be the patroness of the forgotten and oppressed. Cover us all with thy holy protection, that we may be moved to cry aloud to our good God: Alleluia!

IKOS IV

Accepting the counsel of the elders of the Hermitage of Saint Zosimas, thou didst prove thyself to be an obedient daughter of the Orthodox Faith, O venerable martyr, so that thine own words brought profit and consolation to all who hearkened unto thee. Thou was a most wise abbess and a loving mother, who tended well the flock entrusted to thee, teaching them how to care for the afflicted as a sister of mercy by thine own example, O holy princess. Wherefore, tend thou also the ailments of our souls, that we may cry aloud unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who anointest all with the oil of mercy;
   rejoice, thou who stillest the tempest of sorrows!
Rejoice, instruction of those who turn to Orthodoxy!
   rejoice, pillar of truth set firmly upon the rock of the Faith!
Rejoice, thou who dost rescue us from the mire of despondency;
   rejoice, thou who feedest the orphan and the widow!
Rejoice, thou who didst embrace charity with thy whole heart;
Rejoice, thou who didst exchange a palace for a poor and humble cell!
Rejoice, thou who didst put aside thy royal robes to don the hairshirt of asceticism;
   rejoice, thou who didst lay thy princely coronet at the feet of the Savior!
Rejoice, thou who didst take up the Cross as a kingly scepter;
   rejoice, thou who didst love God more than earthly honor and glory!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION V

Thou has been revealed to us as a most radiant star adorning the vault of the firmament of the Church, O martyr of Christ. And ever illumined by the effulgence of thy sufferings, unto Christ, the Judge of the contest, do we offer hymnody of thanksgiving for thee, and we chant unto Him: Alleluia!

IKOS V

Through the guidance of the heavenly intercessors who shone forth in Russia-the venerable Sergius of Radonezh, and Peter, the divinely eloquent Metropolitan of Moscow, in company with Martha and Mary, the sisters beloved of Christ-the narrow and royal path which alone leadeth to salvation was disclosed to thee, and travelling it thou becamest a model for all Orthodox Christians dwelling in the Russian Empire, showing them how to unite the ideals of ascetic endeavor and charitable acts. Wherefore, for thee grace was added unto grace, and whilst thou was yet alive the report of thy holiness spread far and wide. The pious cried out in wonder to God Who is wondrous in His saints: “Glory b to Thee, O Lord!”; and to thee they uttered such praises as these:

Rejoice, scion of a royal house who tended the sores of paupers with thine own hands;
   rejoice, paragom of monastic virtue and rule of faith!
Rejoice, thou who didst reject worldly praise and hast received heavenly rewards;
   rejoice, thou who dost partake of everlasting splendor on high!
Rejoice, thou who didst expose spiritual deception;
   rejoice, thou who didst strengthen the common folk in the true Faith!
Rejoice, thou who dost ever summon the faithful to prayer and vigilance;
   rejoice, thou who didst adopt the Russian nation as thy homeland!
Rejoice, thou who didst spurn the praises of men;
   rejoice, beacon guiding all to the safe harbor of heaven;
Rejoice, thou who didst labor for Christ in the midst of the world!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION VI

How can angels and men refrain from wonderment when they ponder the depths of they love and compassion? For thy convent was not only a spiritual haven for those seeking salvation, but also a well-spring gushing forth torrents of consolation upon those parched by the burning heat of the passions. By thine own examples where thy sisters, the handmaidens of Christ, taught how to comfort the sorrowing, tend the sick, teach the ignorant, correct the erring and prepare the dying for the life which is to come. Wherefore, thy nuns joined chorus with thee to praise the Lord continually, chanting unto Him: Alleluia!

IKOS VI

As a true image of piety thou didst venerate the wonder-icons and holy relics enshrined throughout the Russian land. Her monasteries and countless churches witnessed thine ascetic feats and fervent prayers. Thy tears, shed in such profusion, adorned thy person like lustrous pearls and moved to wonder those who beheld thee. And we who cherish thy holy memory exalt in spirit, crying out to thee:

Rejoice, image of piety who delighted to venerate the sacred icons of the Mother of God;
   rejoice, thou who dost ever bless those who have recourse unto thy precious relics!
Rejoice, wise pilgrim whose destiny was the kingdom of heaven;
   rejoice, adornment of Holy Russia!
Rejoice, thou who art ever magnified by the Holy Church;
   rejoice, thou who didst not forsake Russia in her time of tribulation!
Rejoice, thou who didst perceive the providence of God in all that befell thee;
   rejoice, thou who didst teach others to set their hope on Christ alone!
Rejoice, thou who wast present when the venerable Seraphim was glorified;
   rejoice, thou who didst venerate his grace-bearing relics!
Rejoice, thou who didst hear the prophecy of that holy father;
   rejoice, thou who didst prophesy the down-fall of the Orthodox monarchy!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION VII

When those who been told slanderous tales about thee were brought before thee, O royal martyr, they perceived thine innocence and blamelessness and the holiness of thy life, for thou didst sacrifice thyself for the good of others, and thy heart was ever intent upon their needs, so that thou didst ever move them to chant unto God: Alleluia!

IKOS VII

“This is no new creation or concept, neither do I depart from the Church traditions,” thou didst declare unto those who sought to discredit thy convent and labors; “I only repeat what the Church teacheth; for it is Christ Who saith: ‘Love thy neighbor’, and the divine Theologian doth manifestly thunder: ‘If ye do not love your neighbor whom ye see, ye cannot love God Whom ye see not.’” Thou didst but renew that which had grown old, and hast revealed to us the essence of true love in the miracle of thy life. Wherefore, we chant to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who dost ever care for our souls;
   rejoice, holy princess, worthy of all praise! Rejoice, thou who didst unite love and mercy, as a bridge joineth land to land;
   rejoice, thou who didst know well saving words of grace! Rejoice, thou who wast persecuted for right-teousness’ sake;
   rejoice, for truly great is thy reward in the heavens! Rejoice, thou who didst silence blasphemy and impiety by thy faith in Christ;
   rejoice, thou who didst most humbly endure the calumny and slander hurled at thee by thine own countrymen! Rejoice, thou who didst love righteousness and hate falsehood;
   rejoice, thou who didst not seek to avoid the reproaches of men, that thou mightest receive praise from the Lord! Rejoice, thou who didst love the Gospel above all else;
   rejoice, thou who didst ever delight in the words thereof!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION VIII

Having beheld a sight strange to all-the fall of an empire once dedicated to God, the desecration of all that is holy, and the public ridicule of the martyred Emperor Nicholas,-thou didst shed endless streams of tears for all the tribulations which had befallen thine adopted homeland. Yet trusting in God, and believing this to be His holy will, thou didst never cease to cry out to Him: Alleluia!

IKOS VIII

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the nation was overtake by chaos, thy family was taken away, and all thy friends stood afar off. Only a few fearless hierarchs came to comfort thee and thy sisters, O royal martyr. Thy convent was as a sheep-fold beset by ravening wolves; yet thou didst remain undaunted by their depredations during those violent days, ever preserving thy flock from harm by thy supplications. Wherefore, receive from us these praises:

Rejoice, royal servant of the omnipotent King;
   rejoice, handmaid of the Queen of heaven! Rejoice, thou who with the royal martyrs wast prey to grievous slanders;
   rejoice, thou who didst find consolation in service of God! Rejoice, thou who didst not judge the sinful lies of men;
   rejoice, thou who didst refuse to condone their misdeeds! Rejoice, thou who didst uproot the tares of evil growing in the royal garden;
   rejoice, thou who didst not approve of vile and wicked deeds! Rejoice, thou who ever helpest us to see the will of God in all things;
   rejoice, thou who didst rebuke the riotous multitude with thy courage! Rejoice, for thou didst not turn away from the hapless Tsar when he was mocked and abused;
   rejoice, thou who with him and his family dost ever rejoice in heaven!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION IX

The angelic armies on high were stricken with awe, beholding Holy Russia bound and led to bloody slaughter by those who wage war against God; for, bleeding and dying in the arena of martyrdom, the land is dyed red with the blood of the countless new martyrs, who cry out continually to the Lord of hosts: Alleluia!

IKOS IX

The vile minions of Satan, sinful men with hands reeking of the blood of the innocent, openly reviled God, and mockingly asked thee how thou who art of royal blood couldst minister to the poor and lowly, O royal passion-bearer. But we marvel at thy patience and humility, and cry out unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who didst quench the flames of discontent with thy tears;
   rejoice, thou who didst lament
   the woes of Russia, as Martha and Mary wept over Lazarus!
Rejoice, thou who didst submit to the will of God;
   rejoice, thou who didst behold the Savior enthroned on high!
Rejoice, venerable martyr of royal birth;
   rejoice, thou who didst put to shame those who mistreated thee! Rejoice, thou who dost bless those who bless thee;
   rejoice, thou who wipest the tears away from those who grieve! Rejoice, thou who dost calm our troubled hearts;
   rejoice, thou who bowest down before the throne of God, offering Him our entreaties! Rejoice, thou who art ever attentive to His decrees;
   rejoice, thou who dost continually preserve us from all harm!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION X

Wishing to make thee captive, O martyr, evil-minded men arrived at thy convent on the third day of Pascha, to separate thee from thy flock; for after the holy Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor blessed thee and thy nuns, the wicked fell upon thee and took thee away into exile. Yet knowing what was to follow, thou didst take with thee thy faithful companion, the venerable Barbara, and with thee chanted the hymn of victory unto the risen Christ: Alleluia!

IKOS X

Banished to the heart of Russia, hidden away from the eyes of the world, with prayer and fasting thou didst prepare for thy departure from this life, O Elizabeth, when Companion Barbara, and with the holy Princes Sergius, John, Igor, Constantine and Vladimir, who were all to share in thy sufferings and receive incorruptible crowns from the hands of the Savior. And sharing together in the delights of heaven, attend ye unto our praises:

Rejoice, ye who ever pray for the salvation of Russia;
   rejoice, ye who, though cast down by the ungodly
   into the depths, have been raised on high by Christ!
Rejoice, ye who shed the scarlet robe of royalty and put on the purple robe of martyrdom;
   rejoice, ye who where not deceived by the deceit of the evil one!
Rejoice, ye who lift up your hands to God in supplication;
   rejoice, ye who cast away earthly riches to receive treasure in heaven!
Rejoice, patient sufferers who endured all for the Lord;
   rejoice, ye who put to shame those who took your lives, but could not slay your souls!
Rejoice, ye who received wreaths of victory fashioned by the hand of the Creator;
   rejoice, bright constellation of holy stars shining in the firmament of the Church!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTATKION XI

O the glorious wonder! A mine depleted of its ore is shown to be full of the lustrous gold of grace and piety! A shaft sunk deep into the bowels of the earth is shown to be a ladder extending up to heaven, whereby Elizabeth and her companions ascend from the depths unto the heights of paradise! O holy martyrs, ye blessed ones, as ye delight in celestial joys forget not us who celebrate the memory of your godly struggles, that with you we also may chant the angelic hymn: Alleluia!

IKOS XI

The minds of men, darkened by their fallen state, are unable to devise for you hymns worthy of the pangs and sufferings ye endured, O holy passion-bearers of Christ; for ye were like unto the youths of Ephesus who fell asleep of death in a shaft sunk into the earth, only to awaken in the splendid mansions of heaven, where ye now receive from us our poor praises:

Rejoice, ye seven-branched lampstand burning before the throne of God;
   rejoice, glory of Alapayevsk!
Rejoice, ye who planted the tree of life amid the barren mountains and watered it with your blood;
   rejoice, royal passion-bearers, adorned with
   kindly diadems more precious than gold and costly jewels!
Rejoice, O Barbara, devoted daughter of thy spiritual mother;
   rejoice, ye who intercede for your compatriots
   who find themselves amid suffering and exile!
Rejoice, O Sergius, valiant confessor of the true Faith;
   rejoice, O brethren, equal in number to the Trinity!
Rejoice, O Princes John, Igor and Constantine, who were like unto the holy youths in the fiery furnace;
   rejoice, O Vladimir, prince and martyr, who foresaw thine own suffering and death!
Rejoice, ye who have washed your souls clean in the streams of your blood;
   rejoice, ye who stand before the Savior in the ranks of the new martyrs and confessors!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKIOIN XII

With the words of praise shall we weave a wreath of victory to adorn the new passion-bearers of Alapayevsk? For even if we try to recount their manifold labors, our own weakness and hardness of heart puts us to shame. For while they ever sought after the Lord, we ever stray father away from Him. Wherefore, come ye speedily to our aid, and drive our enemies, visible and invisible, far away from us, that unvexed and at peace, we may chant aloud unto God: Alleluia!

IKOS XII

We chant your praises, O holy new martyrs of Alapayevsk, for when faced with death, ye manifestly confessed Christ as God in the presence of the ungodly. Wherefore, the martyred nun Barbara received from the hand of God a wreath fashioned of truth and obedience, and her royal companions were endowed with two-fold crowns of majesty and martyrdom for their struggles. And thus hath Christ the Lord, the Judge of the contest, shown us all that it is meet to glorify them with such praises as these:

Rejoice, boast of the Urals;
   rejoice, ye who shone forth like rays out of a dark pit!
Rejoice, ye who sanctified a lowly mine-shaft;
   rejoice, ye who were like unto Joseph, who was likewise cast into a pit by envious brethren!
Rejoice, ye who were like unto Daniel, who was thrown into a lions’ den;
   rejoice, ye who have summoned countless other new martyrs to the banquet of the Bridegroom!
Rejoice, ye who were welcomed to the mansions of heaven by your kin, the martyred Tsar and his holy family;
   rejoice, ye who were slaughtered by the godless and unbelieving!
Rejoice, O Elizabeth, who didst bind thy companions’ wounds and tend to their hurts;
   rejoice, thou who didst encourage and strengthen them
   until the moment of their soul’s departure!
Rejoice, for thou didst chant fitting hymns as their life ebbed away;
   rejoice, thou who before an icon of the Savior didst surrender thine own soul into His hands!

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Elizabeth, true model of Christian sacrifice!

KONTAKION XII

O all-praised and venerable martyr Elizabeth, with the other passions-bearers of Alapayevsk - the martyrs Barbara, John, Igor, Constantine, Vladimir, and Sergius, accept this, our meager hymnody of praise, which we offer to you in honor of the sufferings and violent death ye endured for Christ; and beseech the all-holy Trinity our God, that we be delivered from the perils and evil circumstances which beset us throughout our life: that with you and all the new martyrs and confessors of Russia we may ever chant unto the omnipotent Lord of heaven and earth: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

This kontakion is recited thrice; whereupon Ikos I and Kontakion I are repeated.

(Source: Translation by Isaac E. Lambertsen. Published by St. John of Kronstadt Press, Rt. I Box 205, Liberty, TN. 37095. For further liturgical translations write to the St. John of Kronstadt Press).

Holy Royal Martyr

Grand Duchess Elizabeth,

Pray Unto God For Us!


Holy New Martyr Barbara

And All New Martyrs Of Russia,

Pray Unto God For Us!


Glory Be To God For All Things!


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b a c k - t o p e-mail : fr-d-serfes@serfes.org. 6-3-2000