The Icon Of The Inexhaustible Cup
AKATHIST TO THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS IN HONOUR OF THE ICON OF THE INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP
Translated by: Sister Dorofea ( Mirochnitchenko ) and Katherine Szalasznyj Ottawa, Ontario, Canada October - - November, 1994 ( Second Edition )
The History of the Icon The Inexhaustible Cup ( Glorified 1878 )
A peasant from the Efremovskii district of Tula province, a retired soldier, was an alcoholic, and a drunkard . He would drink away all his pension, everything that he possessed, anything that could be found in his house, and eventually he was ruined and literally became a beggar. From excessive drinking, his legs became paralysed, but still he continued drinking.
One day, the man, who seemed to have hit rock-bottom, had an unusual dream. In it a venerable old man came to him and said:
"Go to the city of Serpoukhov , to the monastery of the Theotokos . There you will find an icon of the Holy Mother called The Inexhaustible Cup . Have a moleben before it, and you will be healed, both spiritually and physically."
Without a penny to his name, and having no use of his legs, the man did not dare to go on a journey. But the holy man came to him a second and then a third time, and was so adamant in his admonition to obey his instructions, that the poor drunk did not dare to disobey any more, and he set off as quickly as he could, dragging himself on all fours.
In one of the neighbouring villages where he stopped to rest, an old woman took him in for the night. To ease his pain, she massaged his legs, and put him to rest on top of the clay oven, a customary place for the old or sickly, because of the warmth. During the night the travelling man felt a pleasant sensation in his legs, and discovered that he was able to stand. On the following nights his legs became even stronger. And so, first with two walking-sticks, and then with just one, he arrived in Serpoukhov.
Once in the monastery, he told about his visions, and asked to have the moleben served. But nobody there had ever heard of such an icon. They started to search for it, and noticed one that was hanging in the passage to the sacristy , that bore an image of a chalice. On the back of it, to their surprise, was written "The Inexhaustible Cup".
In the icon of St Varlaam , the disciple of the holy bishop Metropolitan Aleksii, the man immediately recognised the face of the holy elder who had appeared to him in his dreams.
From Serpoukhov the man departed, completely healed. The news about the miraculous icon spread quickly through the city, the region, and all of Rus'. Alcoholics ( those bound by the passion of drink ) and their families and friends, were coming to pray before the Mother of God for healing, and in time many came back to thank the all-merciful Theotokos for her speedy help.
Let it be known that this akathist service came to us in Canada in 1994, and we perceive that this is God's will and from the compassion of the Theotokos. In these times there is the renewal of the Church's life in the lands of Rus', and the rediscovery of God's mercy and tender care.
AKATHIST TO THE THEOTOKOS IN HONOR OF THE ICON OF THE INEXAUSTABLE CUP
KONTAK 1: A wonderful and marvelous healing has been given to us by your holy icon, O sovereign Lady Theotokos. By its appearance we have been delivered from spiritual and physical ills, and from sorrowful circumstances. So we bring you our thankful praise, O all-merciful Protectress. O sovereign Lady, whom we call "The Inexhaustible Cup": bend down your ear and mercifully hear our lamentation and tears that we bring to you, and give your healing to those who suffer from drunkenness, so that we may cry out to you with faith: "REJOICE, O INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP THAT QUENCHES OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!"
IKOS 1: Angelic powers and multitudes of saints continually glorify you, the Theotokos, Queen of all, the intercessor for us sinful christians wallowing in lawlessness and remaining in sins. It is for our consolation and salvation that you in your mercy gave us your miraculous icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only star among a multitude of stars on a starlit night, we may prostrate ourselves, shouting from the very depths of our heart:
REJOICE, dwelling-place of the unapproachable God.
KONTAK 1 Select  and wondrous deliverance has been given to us by your holy image, O sovereign Lady Theotokos, which through its appearance has delivered us from afflictions of the spirit and flesh, and from sorrowful circumstances. Therefore we bring you our thankful praise, O most merciful intercessor. Incline yourself in mercy toward us, "Chalice of Non-intoxication", we call you: heed our sighs and heartfelt cries, and deliver us, suffering from the infirmity of drink, as with faith we cry out to you: REJOICE, O SOVEREIGN LADY, O CHALICE OF NON-INTOXICATION, WHO SATISFY OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!
KONTAK 2: On seeing the deep sorrow and grief of people possessed by the destructive vice of drunkenness, and also their true repentance, you have willed, O most holy Lady, to show your mercy to the blessed city of Serpoukhov by the appearance of your miraculous icon "The Inexhaustible Cup", so that all who fall down before it with faith and a contrite heart will receive healing from this grievous illness, and thus may cry to God from the depths of their heart: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 2: Having understood the meaning of the threefold apparition of St Varlaam, and his order to go to the city of Serpoukhov, the man possessed by the illness of alcoholism did so, and there, in a monastery he found your holy icon called "The Inexhaustible Cup". On seeing such mercy bestowed on us sinners, we cry out to you with veneration:
REJOICE, through pious people you show to us sinners the glory of
your marvelous work.
KONTAK 3: The power of the Almighty and the grace of the sovereign Mother of God strengthened a man suffering from alcoholism, when in obedience to an order of the Theotokos, given to him by St Varlaam, he set out for the city of Serpoukhov, in spite of his paralysed legs. On his arrival, he found the icon of the most pure Theotokos, and was healed from illness of the soul and that of the body. Therefore, from the very depth of his heart, he gratefully exclaimed to God: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 3: You are an inexhaustible fountain, a cup of heavenly gifts that ever ever remains full. And the people of the city of Serpoukhov, as well as all orthodox, from every city and village, who come to your most wonderful icon, "The Inexhaustible Cup", are healed. And so with grateful lips they cry out to you:
REJOICE, O vessel of holy water that dissolves our sorrow.
KONTAK 4: People laden with passions and addictions, doubting of ever finding deliverance, come with repentance to your inexpressible mercy. And on having been healed, from the very depths of their hearts they cry to our Saviour born of you: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 4: On seeing the sorrow and tears of parents, wives and children whose family member is possessed by the passion of addiction, the Lord gave us your icon, O Theotokos, and all who come to it receive consolation and spiritual joy. And so we cry out to you with tears of gratitude:
REJOICE, O lamb, you gave birth to the Lamb of God.
KONTAK 5: O most gracious Lady, you have shown us your holy icon to be the star that leads to God, so that looking upon it and praying to you, we may say: O Theotokos, give healing to those who are suffering from drunkenness and any other illness of mind and body, and teach us all to praise God, singing: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 5: O Theotokos, on seeing the marvels and wonders granted to those who humbly venerate you, wonders pouring from your icon that miraculously appeared in Serpoukhov, and also from those that were but copies of it, we cry out to you:
REJOICE, you are a speedy protectress of all who come to you.
KONTAK 6: O Theotokos, we proclaim your wonders that pour forth from your icon, "The Inexhaustible Cup", and with tears we pray to you: Save us all from the passion of drunkenness and from other addictions and sins, and teach us, O Pure One, to abstain from all impurity, and to sing to God: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 6: In the light of the Divine Glory, you look at your Son, the eternal God and Lord Jesus Christ, standing in the chalice as shown on your icon mysteriously called "The Inexhaustible Cup"; and you give from it deliverance from drunkenness to us who come unto you and bring to you this unceasing praise:
REJOICE, for the angelic powers and the human race rejoice because of
KONTAK 7: A man wanted to thank you, O Theotokos, for healing from alcoholism, so he adorned your miraculous icon that is in Serpoukhov, singing to God from the depths of his heart: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 7: We see a new miracle from your holy icon, O Theotokos. A servant of God, Stephen, a victim of the disease of alcoholism, was imploring your maternal intercession, and he has been granted a cure. So in gratitude he adorned your icon with rich gifts, and falling before it he called to you with tears:REJOICE, lifegiving fountain of healing.
REJOICE, heavenly cup of divine gifts.
REJOICE, river that carries healing.
REJOICE, the sea into which sink all our passions
REJOICE, with your tender maternal hands you raise up those who fall under the weight of drunkenness.
REJOICE, you do not turn down gifts of gratitude.
REJOICE, joy of pious people.
REJOICE, you grant us those of our petitions that are good for us.
REJOICE, O sovereign Lady, the Inexhaustible Cup that quenches our spiritual thirst.
KONTAK 8: It must be strange and incredible to unbelievers to hear that your icon "The Inexhaustible Cup" procures miracles. But to us who believe in your words proclaimed about your first icon, "The Grace of the One who is born of me and my own blessings will always be with this icon", this present icon also exudes your mercy. And so, reverently we venerate it, crying to God: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 8: People suffering from alcoholism and addictions do put all their hope in you, O sovereign Lady. Bend down to our ills and our passions. For who but you, O Theotokos, shall raise us out of the pit of perdition and of physical and spiritual misery? And thus having bent our knees, we cry out to you:
REJOICE, you do not reject the prayers of those who are sinful.
KONTAK 9: All the angels are amazed at your mercy, O Lord, for You have given to sinful mankind a strong protectress and helper. She looks down at our weakness, and heals those suffering from the bitter disease of drunkenness, and teaches the faithful to sing: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 9: The most exalted human mind cannot praise enough the appearance of your glorious icon, O sovereign Lady. Nor can we sinners bring from our sinful lips a glorification worthy of our Protectress. On having seen innumerable miracles coming from your icon, we rejoice in our heart and spirit, and proclaim:
REJOICE, from your holy face miracles pour forth.
KONTAK 10: Wishing to save all those who suffer from the diseases of alcoholism and other addictions, you have given us your wonderful icon, O Theotokos, so that all who suffer may come to your miraculous image; and having been healed, may tenderly cry out to God: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 10: You are the wall and the shield, O Lady Theotokos, for those who suffer from drunkenness, and also for all those who come to you fervently and who piously venerate your holy icon; for the Lord God gave it to us to help us, and to heal us from this destructive addiction. And thus He inspires us to sing to you:
REJOICE, you alleviate our sufferings and give hope to those who
KONTAK 11: O pure one, do not despise our humble singing that we bring to you from fullness of love and zeal; and do not turn away your face from those who suffer from drunkenness and despair, but do help us, so that we also may be cleansed from every impurity and may rightly and justly sing to God: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 11: most holy Lady! On your icon you are seen like a burning candle in rays of grace, surrounded by the assembly of saints and holy martyrs. And as you indicate to us the path of righteousness, we call to you and say:
REJOICE, by the intercession of St Domnica you save us from this world
KONTAK 12: The grace that shines through your icon "The Inexhaustible Cup" calls to it all those who suffer, all the unfortunate, widows and orphans, and especially those who are ill with the disease of alcoholism. And no one goes away empty-handed from your inexhaustible cup, O merciful one, but all are filled with divine gifts; so that having received healing and help, they may sing to you: ALLELUIA!
IKOS 12: Praising your wondrous work and great mercy that you show to those who suffer from addictions, we beg you, O compassionate one - save, have mercy on us, show us the right path, and do not reject us who seek your protection and call out to you:
REJOICE you sustain us on the way to soberness.
KONTAK 13: O all-merciful Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, hear our prayer, and deliver us from all ills, physical and emotional, and especially your servant(s) ___(name(s))___, who suffer(s) from this disease, so that he (she, they) may not perish, but might be saved and thus would sing to God: ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
This kontak is read three times, and is followed by Ikos 1 and Kontak 1
IKOS 1: Angelic powers and multitudes of saints continually glorify you, the Theotokos, Queen of all, the intercessor for us sinful christians wallowing in lawlessness and remaining in sins. It is for our consolation and salvation that you in your mercy gave us your miraculous icon, so that looking upon it, as at the one and only star among a multitude of stars on a starlit night, we may prostrate ourselves, exclaiming from the very depths of our heart:
REJOICE, dwelling-place of the unapproachable God.
KONTAK 1: A wonderful and marvelous healing has been given to us by your holy icon, O sovereign Lady Theotokos. By its apparition we have been delivered from spiritual and physical ills, and from sorrowful circumstances. So we bring you our thankful praise, O all-merciful Protectress. O sovereign Lady, whom we call "The Inexhaustible Cup". Bend down your ear and mercifully hear our lamentation and tears that we bring to you, and give your healing to those who suffer from drunkenness, so that we may cry out to you with faith: "REJOICE, O INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP THAT QUENCHES OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!"
FIRST PRAYER: O our merciful and holy Lady Theotokos, hope and refuge of the orphan, defense of the stranger, help of those in need, and protection of those who are bitter: You see our misfortune, you see our sorrow. From all sides we are assailed by temptations, and there is no one to protect us. You, yourself, help us, for we are weak. Feed us, for we are strangers. Show us the way, for we are lost. Heal us, for we hurt. Save us, for there is no hope for us. We have no other recourse, neither protection nor consolation, but you, O Mother of all who suffer and are burdened. Look down on us sinners, who are harsh and bitter, and protect us by your holy omophor, that we may be delivered from all evil that assails us, and especially from drunkenness, so that we may always glorify your all-holy name. Amen!
SECOND PRAYER: O all-merciful sovereign Lady, we come to your protection. Do not despise our petitions, but kindly hear us - wives, children, husbands, parents, and all those who suffer from heavy affliction of addictions of all sorts; and restore those who, because of it, fall away from our holy Mother the Church and its salvation. O merciful Theotokos, touch their heart and speedily restore them from their fallen state, and lead them to salutary repentance. Implore your Son, Christ our God, to forgive us our trespasses, and not to turn away His mercies from His people, but that He would strengthen us in sobriety and chastity.
Accept, O all-holy Theotokos, the petitions of mothers shedding tears about their children, wives sobbing for their husbands, children, orphans, beggars, and all those who were forsaken, and us all who venerate your icon. And let your prayers carry our petitions to the throne of the Almighty.
Cover us, and keep us from all snares of the enemy and the traps of the evil one, and at the dreadful hour of our death, help us to pass the ordeal without stumbling. By your prayers, save us from eternal condemnation, so that God's mercy may cover us for the ages to come. Amen!
TROPAR (Tone 4)
TODAY WE FAITHFUL COME TO THE DIVINE AND MIRACULOUS ICON OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS, WHO FILLS THE FAITHFUL FROM THE INEXHAUSTIBLE CUP OF HER MERCY, AND SHOWS THEM GREAT MIRACLES. AND WE WHO HAVE SEEN THEM AND HEARD OF THEM REJOICE IN OUR HEART AND CRY OUT WITH DEEP FEELING AND DEVOTION: O ALL-MERCIFUL SOVEREIGN LADY, HEAL OUR ILLS AND OUR PASSIONS BY PRAYING TO YOUR SON, CHRIST OUR GOD, THAT HE MAY SAVE OUR SOULS.