Let Us Pray

I recently read a comment from “Collette” (one of our favorite correspondents) that there will be prayer service this Sunday night at 8:00pm (EST). Collette said she and several friends were going to get together to pray an Akathist to the Mother of God and St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. I would encourage all who are concerned about the state of affairs in our Church to likewise drop what you’re doing tomorrow evening, gather with friends wherever you are, and pray the Akathist.

The Metropolitan needs it, our bishops need it, we need it.


  1. Amen…Most Holy John of San Francisco protect your Church

    • I was told that +Jonah was asking people to daily pray the Akathist of St. John of Shanghai . . . but Sunday we are all praying an Akathist to the Mother of God and the Lord’s will at the appointed time . . . .

      Looking forward to joining you all in prayer .

    • Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

      Many of us are disturbed and concerned by the recent changes in the OCA leadership. Let us join together in prayer tonight that the Lord may guide the Holy Synod during their meeting in Detroit tomorrow. Though we may not be able to ask for specific outcomes, let us pray that the Lord grant his will and his mercy in this difficult hour, for +Jonah and for his family, and for all those hurt by the recent events.

      Glory to God Forever!

  2. It’s 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain, 5:00 PM Pacific.

    Fr. John Whiteford’s Order for Reading Canons and Akathists Alone is a good service for laypersons to pray around an akathist. There is a place marked to insert the akathist text.

    Akathist to St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

    • Great resource! Thanks so much, Helga.

      Thanks, too, George, for this encouragement to your readers. Action such as this cannot fail to bear good fruit (whether we see it, or not).

    • pelagiaeast says

      How precious for us to be able to pray together. Many thanks for the links.

      • Lil Ole Housewife says
        • pelagiaeast says

          Lil Ole Housewife, thank you so much. Of course, I have heard them when attending OCA services, but was not saturated by them as I have been by Byzantine chant. I know that is what it takes. I will need to work on this tone, but it will be fun and very worthwhile to really learn to chant it.
          Blessings on you.

          • Lil Ole Housewife says




            I was lazy before. Please forgive me. The examples above are from St. John of Shanghai Monastery in California, the monastery Metropolitan Jonah started. The general webpage for their music is


            Much of the music you will find there on that site was written or arranged by Monk Martin, who has just left the monastery with some others. It is uniquely beautiful and sounds somewhat ScotsIrish folkmusic ish.

            Basically, there are lots of tone ones, depending on the place they come from. Then, this is further confused because for certain chants, the modal melodies are different. This is more a problem in Byzantine chant where the various tones are adhered to more strictly than we do them in the OCA. THe stricter usage of the tones in America among the eastern European traditions is the Prostopenie used by the Carpathorusyni which also pervades OCA music in some instances.

    • Dorothy Allen says

      Thank you for providing the link to the Akathist to Saint John Maximovitch. It was a blessing to read the Akathist and to know that many others in various locations were praying the same words at the same time. This type of prayer in unity is something that the Orthodox community might want to consider doing on a regular basis.

      • pelagiaeast says

        I agree for the need and blessing of doing praying together on a regular basis. Please keep the info coming. We are going to try for every evening at the same time, all things working together for good.

  3. Mark from the DOS says

    Just received an e-mail that the Akathist will be prayed at St. Seraphim Cathedral here in Dallas.

  4. M.Vasiliou says

    In your prayers, please remember all the catechumens and inquirers who are now scandalized by the actions of the OCA Synod.

    I just got this email from Annie (last name withheld) who is searching for a church and who is disgusted:

    So those lousy bums called in a psychiatrist, to have the Best-one committed?

    Another reason to completely avoid “churches”.

    Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

    • Jane Rachel says

      I am not sure whether it would have been better to have found out about all this before I joined Orthodoxy and the OCA or not. The treatment of Metropolitan Jonah is only the latest chapter in a book of injustices being committed against good people, and there will be no healing until the past wrongs and injustices are dealt with properly. It was devastating when I learned about how Orthodox leaders who have such winning smiles can be SO un-Christ-like. But, if anyone reading this is thinking about leaving the Church because they are disgusted with the leaders, I would say that even though there is corruption, there is goodness too, and if what you are seeking is Christ, you will find what you are seeking in Orthodoxy more than anywhere else on earth.

      • Lil Ole Housewife says

        Dear Sister in Christ Jane,

        What is important is that you are Orthodox. You have put on Christ.

        Do you have a nice parish to attend? Do you have a good and constant soul for a spiritual father? If so, keep them. If not, look for a nearby parish. The OCA is great.

        The Evil One tries one and another and yet another trick to distract us from prayer and communion.

        Hold fast to your faith and I will pray for you in your misery, With the Grace of the Holy Spirit, our beautiful OCA will be saved from all this temporary worldly distraction. May we all pray for our OCA.. Let’s try this three times

        Spasi Nas / Soson Imas / Save Us O Son of God, Who rose from the dead. To You we sing. Alleluia!

      • Eleni Palmos says

        A lot of the leadership is our very own fault. As a body of faithful, we can often get the head that best matches us.

        With a laity that lives pious lives and that knows its faith, it wouldn’t be so easy to have the ambitious rise straight to the top and then lord their will over all.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      I hope this is received loud and clear by those involved.

  5. Jane Rachel says

    Just wanted to say it was a joy to see the photo of St. John Maximovich here. I love that Saint! St. John Max, pray for all of us and help us through your holy prayers!

  6. Heracleides says

    Anticipating tomorrow’s meeting of the Unholy Synod, I managed to acquire one of the mementos that will be given to all present by the future Metropolitan of the OCA… Entitled “Not A Crook” it and my other OCA images may be viewed here.

  7. Will definitely be joining this prayer effort for the benefit of Metropolitan Jonah. His words and example were a major factor in my decision to become Orthodox. This whole thing makes me heartsick. I still don’t understand how or why he would have been ‘required’ to check into a mental health/rehab facility… !? For what? I hope that he understands that the are people scattered all over this country who are truly appalled and praying for him.

    • pelagiaeast says

      Two pray-ers in KS just awestruck by the Akathist. We are Antiochian, so were not familiar with this Akathist. Wish we knew tone 8, OCA style.
      love to our dear Godfather, Metropolitan Jonah.

    • Kay your words really resonate with me! I saw the Metropolitan today, he celebrates weekly Liturgies for a small gathering of his friends, supporters and spiritual sons and daughters in a tiny chapel in DC. I conveyed- as everyone keeps saying to me- that there are so many people, like you and like me, who were inspired by him to choose to come into the Orthodox faith through the Orthodox Church in America!

      Let’s all continue to pray for Metropolitan Jonah and for each other in this time of uncertainty!

      • That is so wonderful to hear, Anonymous. Although I was already Orthodox before I knew about him, it would be hard to understate the positive effect Metropolitan Jonah had on my life and my faith.

        If you could, please tell him that there are still others who love him, who accompany him there in spirit.

        • Oops! I meant “overstate”, in that Metropolitan Jonah has had a significant impact on me and it would be hard, if not impossible, to say too much about it. Bad Helga! Sorry to Met. Jonah.

  8. Seraphim98 says

    The Holy Synod has acted within the scope of its authority whether we question it, agree with it or not. It may well turn out to have been an ill considered decision…yet it was theirs to make for good or for ill. Sniping at the Holy Synod does not accomplish anything positive. Prayer for them it probably the best and most godly thing that we can do. Letting our bishops know we pray for them and for an honorable and godly treatment of Met. Jonah might be good as well so long as it refrains from being accusatory.

    With respect to how this all looks to new and potential members of the OCA it does not look good and it is understandable if it gives some serious pause. That said I think it is also instructive. This is not the first time in the history of the Church strong personalities have been in charge of the organs of Church governance and at loggerheads with each. This is not the first or the worst of times there has been bitter partisanships for ostensibly good causes that risk schism…if not in body then in heart and mind. There have been knocks and missteps on this road long before any of us, and will likely be so long after should the Lord tarry. The Church has survived, endured, grown…and out of it all given birth to a number of saints…sometimes from opposing sides of a given dispute. The teachable moment, as I see it is this…God entrusts His treasures to earthen vessels…sometimes those vessels are revealed to be very earthen indeed…but the treasure is still the treasure for all that.

    Which of us would have been thrilled with those in power who sent St. John Chrysostom into brutal and eventually deadly exile? Yet which of us would say those powers who sent him into exile were not Orthodox ones with authority to act be it justly or unjustly? Many of us are not fans of the New Calendar…at least not fans of how it was promulgated and put in place…yet we follow the new calendar because that is what our bishops instruct us to do. Elder Cleopa’s spiritual father and abbot was very troubled about the new calendar. He fasted and prayed about it a long time and at last received a vision from St. Barnabus (I think) who asked him why he was afraid to obey his bishops. He came out of that heavenly meeting convinced the New Calendar as instituted was a bad thing handled in a bad way…yet it belonged to the authority of bishops to do so….thus they will answer to God for their use of their power, as will our own holy synod one day, whether they did well or not. Yet unless the synod starts teaching heresy boldly and persistently…unless we wish to return to being protestants rumbling off when to do it “better” when disappointed in the way things are, or turning Orthodoxy into another “commercial-like” cause, we must be patient and thrust God to resolve the matter in His own time, and we must pray for them with love.

    This is where I think things stand now.

    The Holy Synod either did right for reasons we do not entirely know or they did wrong for reasons we somewhat suspect.

    • Dear Seraphim98,

      Most of what you say makes perfect sense and is really nicely put. However, there is a very important exception, which, in my view, makes your premise incorrect and thus invalidates the conclusion despite the beautiful discourse on obedience to bishops.

      “The Holy Synod has acted within the scope of its authority…”

      They did not. Those who met without Metropolitan’s participation and requested his resignation, apparently, violated several of the Holy Canons, as discussed earlier on this blog by a number of participants. The reason I put “apparently” here is because guilt should be assigned by a canonical trial and not by bloggers like us. Bloggers, however, can demand that the trial takes place. The prescribed punishment for violation of two of these canons is deposition from rank, and this makes me look at the legitimacy of the bishops involved in a very different light.

      • Seraphim98 says

        I so should have read more closely for typos.

        For all that I was not speaking in terms of the minutia of proper procedure, though your point is taken…I was simply saying it is within the scope of the Holy Synod’s authority to determine who among them should be their primate and within that same scope to remove one they do not think is governing well.

        Whether they did all the appropriate procedures they are supposed to have done is quite another question…and maybe they did not follow the normative canons for such things. That can be dealt with however such things are dealt with by those with the necessary standing and authority to insist upon corrective action if needed.

        What is certain is that authority is not me or anyone like me. So as I see it…generally speaking the Synod had the authority to ask for Met. Jonah’s resignation for whatever reasons they deemed sufficient. The wisdom of that move and the procedural niceties of it, even if quite serious their lack of application, are things more anointed heads than mine will have to grapple with. It is on this score I watch to see what other Orthodox synods do/say with respect to the OCA to get a better perspective on it all.

        In any event…procedurally correct or not…in need of a spiritual court or not, it’s a done deal and humanly speaking I don’t see any going back. Even if enough pressure mounts from outside the OCA to restore Met. Jonah…is he going to want that job…having to deal the same synod as asked him to step down? Are they really going to want to work with a Metropolitan they don’t think is right for the job? There is no fixing this…there may be a way forward to better things…but there is no fixing this. I could see another jurisdiction offing to take Met. Jonah in. I could see the Synod electing him to one of our vacant dioceses (not likely, but not impossible), I could see him assigned to teach in one of our seminaries….or help with our mission work….some special program…but not in the foreseeable future as our Primate.

        One thing is certain, even if Met. Jonah is no longer primate some of his key ideas and vision for Orthodoxy in America are out of the bag and in the public. It is possible to conceive of Orthodox unity now without reference to our Tomos…which is now “negotiable” for us in a way that wasn’t a few years ago. That cat’s not going back in the bag. His vision of tithing dioceses…though scorned in some quarters are reaping the fiscal fruits of encouraging that practice over those that don’t. It’s a successful model even if it isn’t what some Orthodox in the OCA are used to. That cat may not be universally loved or adopted but it too is out of the bag and no longer limited to the DoS. So maybe…at least some of his work is done.

    • Speaking of “protestants rumbling off when to do it “better” when disappointed in the way things are, ”

      When I was in Bulgaria a year ago I noticed so many medieval churches all within walking distance from each other in a relatively small location-in several areas around the country. While no one may have left the greater church, it did make me wonder if people didn’t start their own parish when they didn’t like how things were going locally. I think maybe it’s not so Protestant to leave and if the medieval people were in the set up we currently have in America, they may have “protested” in the same way . . . Just speculating . . . .

      • Dear Colette,
        I think the reason there were so many churches within walking distance of each other in the old days may be that it was normal to have a church practically on each block of a city or town…

        • Yes Anna, but one church in the entire area would have been enough, instead there were -I’m not exactly sure- but say 20 in one small area. I’m not sure how they filled them . . .

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            I was thinking about this earlier today, and the only conclusion I can come up with was that some of these churches were open only for special feast days; the other churches were in regular use. Another possibility could be that a wealthy family would have had one of these churches built as a sign of their faith.

            • Monk James says

              Lola J. Lee Beno says (August 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm:

              ‘I was thinking about this earlier today, and the only conclusion I can come up with was that some of these churches were open only for special feast days; the other churches were in regular use. Another possibility could be that a wealthy family would have had one of these churches built as a sign of their faith.’

              It’s common in many traditionally orthodox cultures for there to be ‘annual’ churches dedicated to the commemoration of a particular saint or feast. There will be services in such churches at least once a year for that observance, and perhaps at other times, but they are not parish churches.

              Once in a rare while, such churches are built to house miraculous ikons or to commemorate miraculous events. These churches are much more frequently visited, so divine services are conducted there more often.

              In any event, it’s not possible to have too many churches, too many places of quiet prayer, too many places where we might pause — just for a moment — to worship God Who is so good to us.

              • “In any event, it’s not possible to have too many churches, too many places of quiet prayer, too many places where we might pause — just for a moment — to worship God Who is so good to us.”

                Well, I can hardly disagree with this, but I don’t know if that answers this puzzle.

              • Amen!

          • lexcaritas says

            How did they fill so many churches “in the old days.” They filled them by having children and grandchildren by the quiver full–which we are loathe to do today; it would interfrer with upward mobility, leisure and posssession and our worship of the modern idols of health, wealth and hedonism.

            And for that choice we will have to pay the piper–soon.

            Also they lived near and walked and so experienced real community and the life accompanying it.

            May Christ restore us to it–and may we and our children and grandchildren respond in faith, hope and love.


            • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

              Amen, Lex.

              Want to change the world? Have children, lots of them. Don’t stop at two because two is not even replacement. Stopping at two is a step toward extinction.

              • Amen indeed!
                Demography is destiny.
                When the history of the decline of the West is written some centuries hence, the introduction of the birth control pill will be seen as a crucial moment.

            • Lex, I don’t think churches over filling describes what went on here. This was a very political area (from what I can find) and during the medieval period there was an explosion of churches. Some look like family churches and could be as mentioned used for special feasts. But I think rather there were families coming into the area and starting their own churches, not because of need but because of rivalry, to establish themselves–And I speculate- because of problems.

      • There are no “parishes” (as we Orthodox in North America have them) in the countries of our mother churches.
        A “Parish” is a phenomenon from Protestantism.

        • Fine. What word do you prefer?

          • colette says:
            August 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

            Fine. What word do you prefer?

            I think that here in the USA under our present circumstances, “parish” is what is commonly understood and used.

        • Actually, the “parish” is much older than Protestantism, Father.
          The English word derives from the Greek πάροικος via French and Latin, from whence the original idea must have come as well, though subsequently adapted to Western needs through history. They still have parishes today in the Roman Catholic Church throughout western Europe, many of them quite ancient in their origins.

          • Dear Basil (please excuse the informality): Another interesting point is that in the state of Louisiana, the common political division is not the county but the parish. Louisiana’s ordinances are based on the Napoleonic Code (which is ultimately Justinian’s). But some time ago you wrote this: “When they develop a program that corrects human grammatical errors, I will regard it as true progress!” They do have such programs. Even MS Word has a grammar check. Also, I used to scan documents (such as a sermon in Russian) into my computer, for filing, and I used the application “OmniPagePro”. The application not infrequently suggested grammatical corrections to problematic readings.
            I’ve just updated my Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking so that I’ll be able to use it on my Droid. Perhaps it will now have a grammar-check built it! Who, do you think, will be playing in the World Series this year?