Drawing Closer to the Mother of God Through Prayer and Devotion

During last night’s talk, I spoke of prayers and devotions as the primary way in which we draw closer to the Mother of God, and how the kannonik and akafistnik had been so instrumental in shaping the relationship that our forebears had with her, forging an especialy valuable connection when the Faith was persecuted, churches and monastery closed and the clergy and monastics incarcerated or martyred.

Even though he lived centuries before the appearance of the Mother of God in the chuch of the Blachernae in Constantinople, St Romanos the Melodist appears on the amvon in our festal icon – the feast of Pokrov also being HIS feast. This superimposed cameo-appearance of the great hymnographer is not out of place, as his supreme work the Akathist Hymn, is the greatest hymnographic celebration of the Mother of God and the finest address to her that we have as Orthodox Christians.

However, just as we have so many canons to the Mother of God, we also have many other akathists: some very fine, some frankly mediocre… some very late ones, well-meant but not written with a blessing, unfortunately being the liturgical equivalent of  kitsch.

Though the great work of St Romanos is the only akathist appointed to be chanted in services by the Church’s typikon, and the only one accepted by Old Rite Orthodox and some purists in other Orthodox countries, we do however have a wealth of good akathist hymns with which to address the Mother of God; to draw close to her; to share our trials, sorrows and needs; to celebrate her feasts and venerate her icons.

With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, thousands of Orthodox Christians united in the daily praying of the akathist to the Mother of God, in honour of her icon ‘The Softener of Evil Hearts’, as this has akathist loved and valued with the icon for centurie become a shared offering of prayer to the Theotokos across countries, continents and battle-lines, uniting people with one another as well as to the blessed Mother.

In our own Cardiff community, we have new Orthodox Christians for whom the wealth of canons and akathists is a brand-new-discovery, and one that can bring immeasurable spiritual wealth and strength. So, over the next few weeks, between the feast of the Protecting Veil and the Kazan Icon, I will endeavour to highlight our wealth of prayers and hymns to the Mother of God, so that through their words, whether chanted, or prayed quietly and contemplatively, we may draw near to the Mother whom the Saviour gave us as He battled hell and death on the battle-field of Golgotha from the vantage point from His Life-Giving Cross.

As pastoral circumstances have highlighted the need to turn to the Mother of God as the ‘Giver of Reason – Прибавление ума’ and her wonder-working icon of that name (also now as Loretskaya/of Loreto), I will start by re-posting the akathist which so many people turn to for themselves and for others: to pray for wisdom, clarity of mind, for right decisions, for the mentally troubled and ill, for those slow of learning, for those with learning disabilities…  crying “Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.”

Romanian text: https://rugainimii.wordpress.com/acatistul-maicii-domnului-icoana-sporirea-mintii/

Slavonic text: https://akafistnik.ru/akafisty-ko-presvyatoj-bogoroditse/akafist-presvyatoj-bogoroditse-pred-ikonoj-pribavlenie-uma/

English below…

Kontakion 1: To the Mother of God, chosen from all generations, the Queen of Heaven and earth, who grantest a spiritual remedy to the whole world, we offer a hymn of thanksgiving for receiving the divine treasure, her wonder-working icon ‘The Giver of Reason’. Guarded by it we feel radiant joy and lovingly call: Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who dost grant wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Oikos 1: The angelic messenger was sent to the town of Nazareth to the pure Virgin Mary to say to her, ‘Rejoice’, when the divine Word was made flesh in her womb. Having heard the annunciation, the Most Pure Virgin spoke from the humility of her heart, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word.’ Wherefore, we sinful ones reverently honour the Mother of Christ our God, and taught by the Archangel we cry out with compunction: 

Rejoice, thou who art blessed among women. 

Rejoice, thou who art favoured by God. 

Rejoice, thou who art shielded by God’s strength. 

Rejoice, thou who art sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

Rejoice, thou who art God’s faithful handmaiden. 

Rejoice, thou who art chosen by God. 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to the Saviour of the world. 

Rejoice, thou Mother of the Light, which illuminest all. 

Rejoice, thou who surpassest the wisdom of the wise. 

Rejoice, thou who grantest wisdom to thy faithful. 

Rejoice, Queen of heaven and earth. 

Rejoice, for all generations shall call thee blessed. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 2: Knowing the desire of the newly-enlightened, O Most Pure, thou hast blessed the herald of the Gospel’s mysteries, the Apostle Luke, to paint an image of thy Most Pure countenance. Looking upon this image, thou hast said regally: ‘My grace and strength will be with this image.’ Wherefore, reverently honouring thy holy icons, with which thou hast adorned the entire Christian commonwealth, we cry to God in thanksgiving for thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 2: Opening heavenly reason for us, O Most Pure Virgin, thou dost grant all of thy faithful to learn of God’s will, which is good, pleasing and perfect; excelling all reason. O All-Praised Theotokos, grant us thy care; vouchsafe us the light of truth; comfort us as a mother and teach us the path of truth, that we may cry to thee, in prayer: 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to Christ, God’s Power and Wisdom. 

Rejoice, thou who hast united God and Man. 

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened our souls with the light of reason. 

Rejoice, thou who hast held the ineffable glory of God. 

Rejoice, thou who dost sanctify the honour given to the holy icons. 

Rejoice, giver of spiritual treasures. 

Rejoice, thou who hast granted grace to thy glorious icons. 

Rejoice, for looking upon thy icons, we venerate thee. 

Rejoice, thou who through thy holy icons grantest healing throughout the world. 

Rejoice, thou who liftest our minds and hearts to heaven. 

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened the entire universe by thy rays of grace. 

Rejoice, thou who reignest eternally with thy Son and God. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 3: Shielded by the power of God’s grace, the pious came to the town of Nazareth, finding there the house of the Mother of God, wherein the Most Pure Virgin was born and received the glad tidings: translated thence to the Italian lands, to the town of Loreto, where, on high, is an icon of the Mother of God, painted upon wood and surrounded by the invisible angelic powers, praising it magnificently and joyfully singing to God: alleluia. 

Oikos 3: Having maternal mercy for Christians, O Most Pure, thou callest all lands on earth to salvation. Therefore, people of diverse nations visit thy house and confess their sins before thine icon, and its glory shineth in the East and in the West and people delivered from sicknesses, sorrow and misfortune give thee thanks, crying:  

Rejoice, House, created by God’s Wisdom for Himself.  

Rejoice, City of God, from the small town of Nazareth.  

Rejoice, thou who hast sanctified the house of God by thy presentation.  

Rejoice, thou who art greater than the Holy of the Holies.  

Rejoice, thou who hast come to Nazareth with the pre-eternal Infant.  

Rejoice, thou who hast served the mystery of salvation of mankind.  

Rejoice, thou ladder by which we ascend from earth to heaven.  

Rejoice, wondrous protecting veil for the whole world. 

Rejoice, for we faithfully honour the image of thy Most Pure countenance.  

Rejoice, for we receive from thee the blessed gifts for our salvation.  

Rejoice, thou who dost manifest miraculous signs through thine icons.  

Rejoice, powerful Protector of Christians.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 4: An iconographer seized by a storm of sorrow, whose reason was darkened, could find no help from earthly physicians. Then the Most Pure Mother of God appeared to him and commanded him to paint her icon, which sanctifies her house in Loreto. Having done this, the painter was healed and from thence he called the newly painted icon ‘The Giver of Reason’, singing before it God’s praise: alleluia. 

Oikos 4: When the people of Russia came to know that the most holy Theotokos gave them, for their joy and consolation, her icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’ they adorned their temples and houses with many copies. A multitude of wondrous signs and miracles happen for those who faithfully come before them and sing to the most blessed one:  

Rejoice, thou who hast granted us thy glorious image to sanctify and comfort us.  

Rejoice, thou who quickly curest bodily and spiritual illnesses.  

Rejoice, thou who hast shielded the Russian land with the veil of thy favour. 

Rejoice, thou who hast delivered those who love and honour thine image, from all misfortunes. 

Rejoice, thou who dost enter invisibly our houses through thine intercession.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest us blessing and joy.  

Rejoice, thou who takest in thine all-mighty hands those abandoned by physicians.  

Rejoice, thou who healest those who lost their mind through illness. 

Rejoice, hope of the hopeless.  

Rejoice, enlightener of our minds.  

Rejoice, pure mirror which reflects the truth.  

Rejoice, thou whose name is praised in East and West.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 5: Thine icon, O Theotokos, hath appeared as a divine star, for it sanctifies our land and its cities; it enlightens those darkened by ignorance with the light of theology; illumining our reason, darkened by sin, it sets the lost on the path following the commandments of thy Son and God, and we cry to Him thankfully: alleluia. 

Oikos 5: Having seen the divine treasure, the wondrous icon of the Mother of God, we pray to her diligently, finding therein the cure of our ailments, relief from our sorrows and salvation from our misfortunes; wherefore we sing to our Lady and protector:  

Rejoice, thou who hast enlightened the faithful by the appearance of thine icon.  

Rejoice, thou through whom the Sun of Truth, Christ, our God, began to shine in the darkness.  

Rejoice, Mother of the Light of Reason, that enlightened by its grace the whole universe.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest us by thy blessing. 

Rejoice, thou who dispellest the gloom of our ignorance by thy light.  

Rejoice, O Virgin, for through thee the light of theology began to shine for all.  

Rejoice, inextinguishable candle, which kindlest the light of faith.  

Rejoice, thou who illuminest the path of virtue.  

Rejoice, thou who art the source of all that is holy.  

Rejoice, thou who powerfully guardest us from adversities and misfortune.  

Rejoice, inextinguishable light of divine love.  

Rejoice, thou who proclaimest to us the spring of salvation by the light of thy miracles.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 6: Thy favours are known in the entire world, O Mother of our Lord; for in many cities and villages of the Russian land, thy icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ shines with the rays of miracles; enlightening our souls by the light of God’s Grace and prompting us to sing to God, Who honoured thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 6: There appeared the light of salvation in thy glorious icon, O Theotokos, for all who stray in the darkness of sins and passions, and swift help is rendered to all who pray before it with reverence and faith. Remove the darkness from our minds, O all-praised, by thy light and show the True Light to all who lovingly cry to thee:  

Rejoice, inextinguishable star, that hast given to the world, the Sun of Truth.  

Rejoice, thou Mother of True Light, which enlightenest the souls of the faithful. 

Rejoice, mentor of blessed instruction.  

Rejoice, thou who dost shield our darkened mind with a light veil.  

Rejoice, thou who art the dawn which dispellest the fog of our sins.  

Rejoice, thou who dost deliver us from darkness and eternal torment.  

Rejoice, thou who dost free us from the snares of the enemy. 

Rejoice, thou who gainest a victory over the madness of the world.  

Rejoice, thou who expellest teachings harmful for the soul. 

Rejoice, giver of knowledge beneficial for the soul.  

Rejoice, thou who comfortest us with thine icon.  

Rejoice, thou who encouragest souls with the light of joy.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 7: Wishing all men to be saved and to realise the truth, our most merciful Lord and Creator hath granted us the image of His Most Pure Mother, called ‘The Giver of Reason’, that those praying before it, having received strength in word, reason and wisdom, freed from wandering thoughts, may sing to our King and God: alleluia. 

Oikos 7: O Mother of God, who dost manifest new and even more glorious wonders through thy holy icon; by the power of Christ’s grace thou enlightenest those with darkened minds, deterring men from madness, strengthening the weak, and swiftly helping all who turn to thy healing image, inspiring them to sing to thee:  

Rejoice, thou who pullest us from the depth of ignorance.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest many minds.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest wise words to those who ask.  

Rejoice, thou who makest fools to reason clearly.  

Rejoice, thou who drivest away sinful designs.  

Rejoice, thou who softenest embittered hearts.  

Rejoice, thou who raisest the mind to God.  

Rejoice, thou who makest the unwise to be wise.  

Rejoice, thou who encouragest us to strive for piety.  

Rejoice, thou who clothest us with eternal joy.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest the prayers of the faithful to thy Son and God.  

Rejoice, thou who prayest ceaselessly for all before the throne of the Almighty.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 8: It is wondrous to see, O Most Pure Theotokos, thine icon painted upon wood, drive away the spirits of darkness by thy divine power, giving reason to those seized by feebleness of mind and by trouble in learning. Therefore, we, perishing because of our sins, plead with thee tearfully: deliver us from our visible and invisible enemies, from the darkness of ignorance, so that we may always sing to our Saviour and God: alleluia. 

Oikos 8: The whole Russian land hath an abundance of thy wonder-working icons, O Virgin Theotokos, shining like God’s bright stars. Amongst them also the grace of thine icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ shines and warms our frozen hearts by the signs of thy favour to us sinful ones. Therefore, kneeling before thy holy countenance, we praise thee, our Most Pure Mother:  

Rejoice, thou who transformest our sorrows into joy.  

Rejoice, thou who defendest us from the burning arrows of the Evil One.  

Rejoice, thou who dost bring up children and shield them with thy grace.  

Rejoice, thou who art the wise protector and mentor of the young.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest reason to children poor of learning.  

Rejoice, thou who destroyest the traps of the enemy.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest the minds of the faithful.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace those without faith.  

Rejoice, thou who healest those seized by madness.  

Rejoice, thou whose blessed icon drives away demons. 

Rejoice, Mother of mercy and benevolence. 

Rejoice, hope of our salvation.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 9: All the angels serve thee reverently, O Queen of heaven and earth, whilst mankind praises thee and honours thy holy icon that thou hast granted to comfort us and give us joy. Teach us, O most good Lady, to praise thee worthily and to sing to the Saviour of the world, who was born from thee: alleluia. 

Oikos 9: The eloquent orators of mankind can neither grasp the mystery of thy service to Christians nor explain the miraculous power of thine icons, which benefit in every way the soul and body of man. We, Orthodox, standing with tears of joy before thy holy icons praise thee, O grace-giving one, and say:  

Rejoice, thou who art the joy of the angels. 

Rejoice, thou who art adored by the archangels.  

Rejoice, thou whom the cherubim receive in the air.  

Rejoice, thou who art praised by the seraphim.  

Rejoice, bright adornment of both the Churches of heaven and earth.  

Rejoice, thou who art above all the powers of the heaven.  

Rejoice, thou who art honoured by the heavenly host.  

Rejoice, thou who art the glory of all who live on earth.  

Rejoice, thou who dost elevate our minds to the Highest by thine example.  

Rejoice, guide to our homeland in the heavens.  

Rejoice, thou who enlightenest the whole earth by the radiance of thy soul. 

Rejoice, thou who hast adopted us all at the cross of thy Son.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 10: Having wished to save the world from insanity and the delusions of the enemy, the Lord, the lover of mankind, has granted us thy wondrous icon, O Mother of God. Praying before it the insane are cured, the possessed are freed from demons, the sorrowful find joy and comfort. Praising God, Who is so merciful to us, with thanksgiving we cry to Him: alleluia. 

Oikos 10: Be for us an impregnable wall and protecting veil, all-pure Mother of God, from the armies of enemies, visible and invisible and guard us from misfortune and disease. Wherefore, kneeling before thine icon ‘The Giver of Reason’ and firmly believing in thy blessed help and cure from all spiritual and bodily illness, we joyfully cry to thee:  

Rejoice, thou who dost deter us from the ways of perdition.  

Rejoice, thou who guidest the faithful on the path of truth.  

Rejoice, thou who drivest away the spirit of sickness and despair. 

Rejoice, thou who helpest us to obtain the spirit of reason and strength.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace the enemies by God’s might.  

Rejoice, thou who bringest to ruin the assemblies of the impious.  

Rejoice, thou cure of the possessed.  

Rejoice, thou who healest all aggressive diseases.  

Rejoice, thou who deliverest us from spiritual death.  

Rejoice, thou who washest away our sins with thy tears.  

Rejoice, thou who dost satisfy us miraculously with spiritual joy.  

Rejoice, thou who grantest us eternal joy, also in the age to come.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 11: We sing in thanksgiving before thy Most Pure image, O Most Pure, beseeching thine ineffable mercy, and we pray to thee who art full of divine grace: guard our minds and hearts against pernicious teaching, disbelief and superstitions; keep our land free from all manner of disorders, stirred up by the enemies of faith, and let us praise our Creator with a pure heart, singing: alleluia. 

Oikos 11: We see thine icon, O Theotokos, like a burning candle, which enlightenest our land with the light of thy miracles, sets us on the path of salvation and kindles our hearts with love for thee, Most Pure Mother of our God. Therefore, knowing the power of thy grace, we glorify thee with hymns of joy:  

Rejoice, thou whose wisdom is immeasurably higher than the wisdom of Solomon.  

Rejoice, thou who revealest God’s most secret mysteries to thy faithful.  

Rejoice, thou who transformest the dull-witted into lovers of wisdom.  

Rejoice, thou light which enlightenest our souls.  

Rejoice, thou who dost disgrace the vain wisdom of this age.  

Rejoice, thou who settest on the right path those blinded by vain wisdom.  

Rejoice, thou who renewest the minds of those who pray with conviction.  

Rejoice, thou who placest a joyful thought in the heart in times of confusion.  

Rejoice, thou who art the revelation of God’s Wisdom and Goodness. 

Rejoice, thou who art the beauty of the heavens.  

Rejoice, thou who hast given us a heavenly gift, thy wonder-working icon.  

Rejoice, source of incessant joy.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 12: Obtain for us divine grace from thy Son and God, O all-good one; extend to us thy helping hand, that we may not perish without repentance; shield us with thy love; cleanse our minds of sinful designs; clear the eyes of our heart that we may see the path of salvation and grant us to sing to our Creator and God in this life and in the Heavenly Kingdom: alleluia. 

Oikos 12: Singing the miracles, which have been manifested through thine icon, O Lady, we praise, glorify and honour thee, who art more honourable than the cherubim, and more glorious, beyond compare, than the seraphim. Look upon us, standing before thy holy icon, O Theotokos, who art now in the heavens, and send us thy blessing; deliver us from all misfortune and the enemy’s temptations, for we honour thee with songs as our protector and keeper:  

Rejoice, thou who dost save the entire universe by thy prayers.  

Rejoice, thou who art the comfort of this sorrowful age.  

Rejoice, Mother of Light, who enlightenest all with the light of thy purity.  

Rejoice, thou who revealest to us the mysteries of God’s will.  

Rejoice, thou who hast chosen Russia as thy portion and thy domain.  

Rejoice, thou who by thy wonder-working icons hast blessed this land.  

Rejoice, thou who raisest us to the Light of Truth through thine image.  

Rejoice, thou who shieldest us invisibly with its divine grace.  

Rejoice, thou who pourest blessed joy into God-loving hearts.  

Rejoice, thou who by thine entreaties openest the doors of God’s mercy.  

Rejoice, thou who helpest us to court the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Rejoice, thou who art the only pure and blessed one amongst women.  

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people.  

Kontakion 13: O all-praised Mother of the pre-eternal Light and Wisdom of the Father, who art the light of the darkened, the increase of intelligence and the joy of our hearts; hear and accept the pleading of us sinful ones; make us, who are unwise, wiser and teach us to sing and pray before thine icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’. Cease not to pray for us, thine unworthy servants, who glorify thee and sing to thy Son and God: alleluia. (Thrice) 

Oikos 1: The angelic messenger was sent to the town of Nazareth to the pure Virgin Mary to say to her, ‘Rejoice’, when the divine Word was made flesh in her womb. Having heard the annunciation, the Most Pure Virgin spoke from the humility of her heart, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word.’ Wherefore, we sinful ones reverently honour the Mother of Christ our God, and taught by the Archangel we cry out with compunction: 

Rejoice, thou who art blessed among women. 

Rejoice, thou who art favoured by God. 

Rejoice, thou who art shielded by God’s strength. 

Rejoice, thou who art sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

Rejoice, thou who art God’s faithful handmaiden. 

Rejoice, thou who art chosen by God. 

Rejoice, thou who hast given birth to the Saviour of the world. 

Rejoice, thou Mother of the Light, which illuminest all. 

Rejoice, thou who surpassest the wisdom of the wise. 

Rejoice, thou who grantest wisdom to thy faithful. 

Rejoice, Queen of heaven and earth. 

Rejoice, for all generations shall call thee blessed. 

Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady, who grantest wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Kontakion 1: To the Mother of God, chosen from all generations, the Queen of Heaven and earth, who grantest a spiritual remedy to the whole world, we offer a hymn of thanksgiving for receiving the divine treasure, her wonder-working icon ‘The Giver of Reason’. Guarded by it we feel radiant joy and lovingly call: Rejoice, All-Merciful Lady who dost grant wisdom and reason to all thy faithful people. 

Prayers to the Most Holy Theotokos before her icon, called ‘The Giver of Reason’ 

O most holy Virgin, thou art the Bride of God the Father and the Mother of His Divine Son Jesus Christ! Thou art the Queen of Angels and the salvation of mankind, thou who dost unmask sinners and punish apostates. Have mercy upon us, who have sinned greatly and not fulfilled God’s commandments; who have broken the vows of baptism and of the monastic life and many other vows that we had promised to keep.  When the Holy Spirit abandoned King Saul, fear and despondency seized him and the darkness of despair and a joyless soul tortured him. And now we also, because of our sins, are deprived of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Our mind is corrupted by idle thoughts, our soul is darkened since we have forgotten God, and now our hearts are crowded with all manner of sorrows, grievances, illnesses, hatred, malice, hostility, vindictiveness, pleasure at another’s misfortune, and other sins. And, having no joy or consolation, we call to thee, the Mother of our God Jesus Christ, to move thy Son by thine entreaties to forgive us our transgressions and to send us the Spirit the Comforter, as He sent Him to the apostles so that we, being comforted and enlightened by Him, would sing to thee a song of thanksgiving: rejoice, most holy Theotokos who hast increased our intelligence so that we may find our salvation. Amen. 

My good Queen, my holy hope, shelter of the lost and the protector of strangers, the helper of the poor and the protecting veil of those in temptations, see my misfortune, see my sorrow: I am surrounded by temptations and there is no one to guard me against them. Wherefore help me, thyself, as I am feeble, guide me as I am a stranger; instruct me as I have strayed; heal me and save me for I am hopeless. I have no other help, no other hope, besides thee, my Lady: help us, as we have placed our hope in thee and we glorify thee ceaselessly, as we are thy servants, let us not be disgraced. I kneel before thy mercy, O Virgin Theotokos, reject not mine entreaties as I am full of sorrows, but deliver me from my misfortunes, as thou only art pure and blessed. Amen.  

O Most Pure Theotokos, the House that God’s Wisdom has created for Himself, Giver of spiritual gifts, who dost elevate our minds from the world to the spiritual spheres and teach us reason! Accept the prayerful singing of thine unworthy servants, who venerate thee with faith and compunction before thy Most Pure image. Entreat thy Son and our God that He may grant our authorities wisdom and power; our judges truth and justice; our pastors spiritual wisdom, zeal and vigilant guarding of our souls; our mentors humble wisdom; our children obedience, and to all of us the spirit of reason and piety, the spirit of humility and meekness, the spirit of purity and truth. And now, our all-praised and all-loved Mother, increase our intelligence, pacify and unite those in hostility and separation, and give them an unbreakable bond of love; direct all those who have strayed through lack of reason, to the light of Christ’s truth and edify them in fear of God, abstention and love of work; give words of wisdom and knowledge, useful for the souls of those pleading with thee, who art more radiant than the cherubim and more honourable than the seraphim; that we, seeing God’s glorious works and His unfathomable wisdom, in the world and in our lives, shall abandon all earthly vanity and needless earthly concerns, raising our minds and our hearts to the heavens, and with thy protection and help shall glorify, thank and praise God, One in three and Creator of all, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen  

Troparion, tone 4:  O most glorious Mother of Christ, our God, who art the Giver of all good, preserve the universe by thy mercy; give us, thy servants, wisdom and reason; enlighten our souls with the light of thy Son, thou only all-praised, who art glorified by the cherubim and the seraphim.  

Kontakion, tone 2:  As thou enlightenest us by the reason of the one God, we praise thee, the Most Pure Mother of Reason which upholds the entire Universe. Thou art the beauty of the visible and the invisible world who enlightenest us by the rays of Life.  

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