Akathist Hymn Service for those Suffering from Addiction - All Welcome!

Akathist Hymn Service for those Suffering from Addiction - All Welcome!

On Sunday, December 18th at 3:00 pm, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church on Trinity Court in Stroudsburg will serve a special service for those suffering from addiction. The service is called an Akathist Hymn and fervently asks for the intercessions of Mary, the Mother of God, for the health and courage of those experiencing the pains and struggles of alcoholism and drug dependency and their families.

The names of those struggling with addiction will be offered up in prayer during the service. The public is invited to the service or to simply email the first names of those they would like prayed for. First names can be emailed to hteoc@ptd.net with Akathist Service in the subject line.

This Akathist service dates back to 19th century Russia and is known as the Akathist of the Inexhaustible Chalice and is associated with a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God. Inexhaustible Chalice (Russian: Неупиваемая чаша; also known in English as Inexhaustible Cup or Non-intoxicating Chalice) is a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God (Θεοτόκος (Theotokos) or Богородица (Bogoroditsa) which revealed itself in Serpukhov, Russia in 1878. The icon is venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church and has become known for healing those who suffer from alcoholism, drug abuse and other forms of addiction.

In 1878, a peasant of the Tula province—a retired soldier who had a passion for alcohol for many years— saw a certain elder in a vision who commanded him to go to the Vladychny Convent of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple in Serpukhov, to find the Icon “The Inexhaustible Cup” and to hold the a molieben before it. The old, penniless soldier, exhausted by his hard drinking, had absolutely no strength to go to Serpukhov. Soon the holy elder appeared twice more and the poor elderly soldier literally crawled to the convent on all fours. On the very first night of his ascetic journey the man suddenly felt that his legs began to obey him again.

Reaching the convent, he put its nuns to confusion as they knew nothing of the icon with this name. Then a nun remembered of an icon that hung in the convent passageway from the St. George Church which portrayed a chalice. Everybody was greatly amazed when they saw the inscription “The Inexhaustible Cup” on the back of the icon! Remarkably, when the man came up to the shrine of St. Varlaam, he at once recognized in him the holy elder who had appeared to him in the vision and commanded to go to the Mother of God for healing from alcoholism. The news of the wondrous miracle rapidly spread over many towns and villages: from everywhere those possessed with this terrible passion flocked to the miracle-working icon, venerated “The Inexhaustible Chalice”, and gave up drinking; thus peace and quiet began to reign in their homes - and all this was through the prayers of the Protectress of mankind.

After the October Revolution, the original "Inexhaustible Chalice" icon was moved to St. Nicholas Cathedral. During the years 1919-1928 eight copies were painted. After the cathedral was closed in 1929, most of its icons were burned and the fate of the wonder-working icon and the eight copies is unknown.

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