Today, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, my Church commemorates all the Saints of North America. Selected stikera from Vespers:
Come, let us praise the saints of North America,
holy hierarchs, venerable monastics and glorious martyrs,
pious men, women and children, both known and unknown!
Through their words and deeds, in various walks of life,
by the grace of the Spirit they achieved true holiness.
Now as they stand in the presence of Christ Who glorified them,
they pray for us, who celebrate their memory with love.
Come, let us assemble today
and glorify the luminaries of the North American lands,
the glorious martyrs and holy bishops who confirmed our faith,
the righteous dwellers in the wilderness and guides of the spiritual life!
Let us cry out to them in joy:
“All Saints of North America, known and unknown, pray to God for us!”
As the brightest sun,
as the brilliance of the Morning Star,
the precious feast of the saints of North America has dawned for us,
to illumine us and to set our hearts on fire,
to imitate their godly lives,
and to follow their example of zeal for God.
Come, let us assemble today
and let us praise the elect of North America!
Having fought the good fight, you have persevered in the faith,
receiving your crowns of victory from God.
Beseech Him to deliver from every calamity and sorrow
all who keep your holy memory in faith and in love!
The earth rejoices and the heavens are glad,
O venerable Saints of America,
praising your labors and lives, your spiritual fortitude and purity of heart.
By driving away a multitude of demons
and enlightening many people with the light of the Orthodox Faith,
you have confirmed our land.
Rejoice, O mountains of Pennsylvania;
leap for joy, O waters of the Great Lakes;
rise up, O fertile plains of Canada;
for the elect of Christ who dwelt in you are glorified,
men and women who left their homes for a new land!
With faith, hope and patience as their armor,
they courageously fought the good fight.
Comforted by the beauty of the Orthodox Faith,
they labored in mines and mills, they tilled the land,
they braved the challenges of the great cities,
enduring many hardships and sufferings.
Never failing to worship God in spirit and truth
and unyielding in devotion to His most pure Mother,
they erected many temples to His glory.
Come, O assembly of the Orthodox,
and with love let us praise the holy women, men and children,
those known to us and those known only to God,
and let us cry out to them:
“Rejoice, All Saints of North America and pray to God for us!”
Rejoice, O continent of North America, illumined by the holy Gospel!
Rejoice, every province, state, city and town,
which raised up citizens of the heavenly Kingdom!
Rejoice, our venerable Father Herman, first saint of our land!
Rejoice O Martyrs Juvenaly and Peter,
for your blood has watered the seed of faith planted in Alaska!
Rejoice, O holy Hierarchs: Innocent, Tikhon, Nicholas, Raphael and John!
Rejoice, O holy Fathers Alexis, John, and all righteous priests!
Rejoice, All Saints of North America,
for your light has shone forth to the ends of the earth!
We beseech you to pray to Christ our God that our souls may be saved!
Today, as we celebrate the memory of all the Saints of North America,
let us praise them as is fitting,
for they lived all of Christ’s beatitudes.
Deprived of material wealth, they became rich in spirit;
meek, they inherited the earth;
mourning, they were comforted;
thirsting for righteousness, they were satisfied;
merciful, they obtainedmercy;
pure in heart, they beheld the image of God;
as peacemakers, they became God’s children;
persecuted and tortured for righteousness’ sake, they now rejoice in
and they pray fervently to the Lord that He may have mercy on our souls.
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Texts from the Orthodox Church in America website, which gives further credit:
Liturgical texts for this service represent modified versions of translations provided by Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Otego, New York and St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, Pa. The Department of Liturgical Music and Translations of the Orthodox Church in America expresses its gratitude to Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery and St. Tikhon’s Monastery and to those translators whose work has been consulted at times in the course of reviewing and modifying these texts to their present form: Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash), Archimandrite Juvenaly, Father Benedict Churchill, Isaac Lambertson, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and Holy Transfiguration Monastery, among others.
Liturgical music for selected stichera and other hymns, published by the Department of Liturgical Music, can be downloaded at www.oca.org ; Liturgical Music and Translations; Music Downloads; Services of the Yearly Cycle; June 29, SS Peter and Paul
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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)