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Friday, October 06, 2006

Glorification of St. Innocent Veniaminov

To celebrate this feast, I offer a set of Western propers for St. Innocent, meant for the recitation of Vespers and Lauds (and perhaps a II Vespers is called for, since he is a national patron). They're by no means the last word and I'm by no means an expert. I compiled them because St. Innocent is a rather special saint, as a bishop, missionary, and patron of Orthodoxy in America. May we have his blessing and prayers today and always.


Antiphons (skipping the 4th at Vespers)

1. A man doth plan his ways, but the Lord directeth his steps. May the prayers of the Holy Bishop Innocent, the enlightener of our land, direct us into the Kingdom of

2. By his word he brought heathen worship to an end in the distant reaches of Alaska and Siberia. Then, bound in chains of obedience to the will of God, he brought comfort to believers in the ancient capital. Through his prayers, may we receive mercy from Christ our God.

3. The blessed John Smirennikov, instructed by the Angels, cried out to the people of Akun, "Go ye out to meet the priest of the Most High God. Listen to him who
will show you the way to the Kingdom of Heaven."

4.O ye priests of God, bless ye the Lord: O ye servants of the Lord, sing a hymn unto God, alleluia. (and the Benedicite follows here at Lauds)

5. Thy life, O holy father Innocent, Apostle to our land, proclaimeth the dispensation and grace of God. Thou didst labor in dangers and hardships for the Gospel of Christ, but God preserved thee unharmed since thou wast exalted in humility. Pray that He may guide our steps into the way wherein we should go.

Chapter at Vespers and Lauds
(Ecclus 44:17)
Behold a great priest who in his days pleased God and was found righteous: * and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. Thanks be to God.

Short Responsories
At Vespers:
R. Holy Father Innocent, * Intercede for us. (repeat)
V. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Intercede for us.
Holy Father Innocent, * Intercede for us.

At Lauds:
R. Their sound is gone out * Into all lands. (repeat)
V. And their words into the ends of the world. Etc.
Into all lands.
Their sound is gone out * Into all lands.

Hymns at Vespers and Lauds as for a Bishop Confessor

Vespers Post-Hymn Verse:
V.The Lord guided the righteous in right paths
R. And shewed him the Kingdom of Heaven

Lauds Post-Hymn Verse:
V. They declared the work of God
R. And wisely considered of His doing

Antiphon on Magnificat:
Thou didst evangelize the northern peoples of America and Asia, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the Natives in their own tongues. O Holy Hierarch, Father
Innocent, enlightener of Alaska and all America, whose ways were ordered by the Lord, pray to Him for the salvation of our souls, in His heavenly Kingdom.

Antiphon on Benedictus:
O Holy Father Innocent, in obedience to the will of God, thou didst accept dangers and tribulations, bringing many peoples to the knowledge of the truth. Thou hast showed us the way; now by thy prayers to God, help us into the Kingdom of Heaven.

O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear the prayers which we offer Thee on the solemnity of blessed Innocent, Thy Bishop and Confessor, and the Apostle to our land: and by the interceding merits of him who worthily attained to serve Thee so faithfully, absolve us from all our sins and bring us into Thy Heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

As you can see, if you have access to and experience using either the Monastic, Roman, or Anglican Breviaries and have seen or heard the Eastern Rite propers for the saint, these Western Rite proposed propers are a mix of elements from the Common of the Apostles, the Common of Bishop-Confessors, stichera, troparia, and the kontakion from the Eastern Rite service, as well as a few new creations.

Perhaps my liturgical experiments will incite the purists to wrath, but I do think there is a need for a proper Western Rite service to our American saints. Maybe someone will write proper hymns or improve on this humble offering. I'm always open to suggestions.


Blogger Huw Raphael said...

Cool propers, although he's not on the WR calendar today. We do, in fact, need some for at least some of our saints, but until that time there are the Commons.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Eric John said...

Well, since St. Innocent is a big American saint, the American calendar should perhaps have both March 31 and October 6, as the Benedictine calendar has March 21 and July 11 for their Patron. Plus the hymn "Iste Confessor" changes depending on whether the feast is of a heavenly birthday or a solemnity, at least according to the Oxford Monastic Diurnal. But at least we have a proper Collect, Antiphon, and Verse for a Commemoration.

2:07 PM  

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